Knives Out

Knives Out ★★★

Still uncertain about this one.

With pretty great confidence, I think this will be more poignant in 4 years; either in a, look where we used to be, or the worse, look where we still are, kind of way. Right now, it's a little too in it to be anything but irritating, even if I find myself agreeing with it's politics.

This thing also excels at what it is; an entertaining popcorn film, that is adjacent to mystery. This thing feels like the biggest fumble as a detective/whodunit story. To be perfectly honest Craig's character is a literal distraction from what's going on. He's kind of an oaf, he only has one or two moments of brilliance (donutception ftw), and if he was removed, nothing would change. Sure, we'd lose out on the awesome ending re-counting, but even that's not actually necessary to the literal story, and the thematic pitching, that's going on the other two hours. The star of the show is unquestionably Ana de Armas, and she's good in the role (honestly not a complex one, but I suppose that works), and a far more compelling movie is one in which she's truly on her own, trying to figure out how to get out of the situation she was thrust in. But also in that movie, there should be more shadiness from everyone, and far less handing of clues.

To further upon the lack of excitement towards the detective/whodunit, I feel like the whole wacky cast of characters is completely squandered. They all get maybe A moment, but then are pretty much relegated to the sidelines to not be really relevant to anything. The only standout performance is Christopher Plummer, who is sidelined for obvious reasons, but everyone else is serviceable at best, but then you have Toni Collette's performance which is just rough, and not in the way that's clearly intentional, just uncomfortable performing it.

This movie isn't very clever. I assumed the ending very quickly, so dismissed that must not be the outcome because it was too easy, and then was disappointed that it arrived back there. Can't say I knew every detail, or exactly how it played out, and was still doubtfully guessing until the actual reveal (so props do need to go there), but, this ultimately is a case where Occam's razor comes into play, and I was hoping there'd be something more wild up Johnson's sleeve.

The dialogue, while, unfortunately, is realistic, is hard to endure. It just feels so forced.

The film can be boiled down to this; it's not confident enough to be just a good time, and it's not smart enough to really be preaching any messages. I will not deny I was entertained through the entirety, wanting to know where it would conclude, but at the end of the day, it's just fine; this is the first time I've thought about it since seeing it (over a week ago). A re-watch, knowing what it is, could prove to be better, but I'm not holding my breath.

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