Sunday, April 08, 2007

Really Bad Movie

Do not watch Syriana. It is total ass. It was so bad that David is walking back and forth lamenting the lameness and pure suckage that is this movie.

That is all.

1 comment:

Dave-o-ramA said...

Holly is free with her mid-film criticism, but it is a rare film that has me speaking up with hate before the credits roll.

About 30 minutes into the film I lost it and shouted at the screen, "Would you fucking finish one scene before you cut to the next, for God's sake?"

The movie wanted to tell lots of different threads of stories, and was cutting back and forth between them liberally. Normally this isn't a problem, but Syriana really seemed to be cutting just before the scene resolved itself, so you were left hanging, feeling like there were about 3 more lines of dialogue from actually resolving the scene.

There were parts of the movie that were quite well done. The cinematography was quite good - it is mostly a beautifully shot movie. The score is mostly good, although I thought the Clooney theme was too incongruous and too clearly repeated. It was distracting to keep thinking "Oh, they're playing the Clooney music again." More subtlety would have been nice on that front.

Also, everybody is awfully one-dimensional. Nobody grows, and while Clooney, Damon, and Siddig have a few layers, there's relatively little growth. The bad guys have almost none.

As for the plot, the disjointed telling only sort of works. It's paced so slowly that you have to be really devoted to the movie to want to sit through it. If the characters were more compelling, maybe I'd have cared enough to sit through the choppy scenes and slow scene setups.

As it stood, only grim determination and a faint glimmer of hope that the movie would say something powerful kept me watching through the end. People have said that this movie would make you think every time you got in your car. Maybe for some folks, but it seems to me that this movie isn't saying anything that I hadn't heard before. Our dependence on Mideast oil and our willingness to do anything to keep the supplies coming steadily have led us to interfere with the politics of the area in ways that keep corrupt regimes in power, undermine liberal reformers, and promote the very terrorism which we're ostensibly trying to prevent.

But this movie doesn't say this in a particularly new way, or offer much in the way of new insights. Siddig's character seems too pat to be believable, thus undermining the message of the movie. I don't believe that his character is real. Perhaps if they'd dropped some of the surrounding threads and let us get to know his character more, or seen more interactions between his and Damon's character, maybe it would have worked better.

But as it was, this is pretentious and poorly executed anti-corporate propaganda. Possibly valid anti-corporate propaganda, but it's not sophisticated enough to do the job. It will convert the converted and the unconverted will see right through it.