Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Nightcrawler - Review

Dirt-poor, psychotic buck Louis Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) finds his calling in the profession of "nightcrawling": driving out to crime scenes (preferably the white suburbs of L.A.), capturing the bloody aftermaths on video and then rushing to sell it to the local TV stations before the 6 AM broadcast. As he advances in his dangerous career and establishes a deep connection with a ratings-starved news producer (Rene Russo), he begins to further heavily shape the crime scenes as he sees fit for public consumption. NIGHTCRAWLER has a killer premise but barely makes a dent with its plot or themes. The "if it bleeds, it leads" mentality of the script is so incredibly 90's and comes off more as a paltry fan sequel to NETWORK. Additionally, Bloom's descent into the muck of videotaping violence takes a long while to start itself up; once he has a $30-dollar-a-night intern (Riz Ahmed), a suped-up car, and engages in a mini-feud with the one who gave him the taste of life in 30 fps (Bill Paxton), the pic finally burns rubber. Another big compliant is the bizarre musical score, which tries to be ironic and/or underline writer-director Dan Gilory's supposedly satirical elements but is often just a pathetic bellow of horns. But again, the second half of the movie does save the overall product; it is far more juicy to bite into, with some chilling/humorous wordplay and two thrilling action set-pieces. I of course can not end this half-hearted approval for NIGHTCRAWLER without giving major applause to Gyllenhaal's unnerving lead performance. His bugged-out eyes, fast delivery, and constant display of sheer discontent of normal human interaction give the young actor an easier chance to grasp a Oscar.


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