Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Review: Side Effects

World of Blackout 77-Word Film Review

Side Effects Poster

Side Effects
Cert: 15 / 106 mins / Dir. Steven Soderbergh

Although Soderbergh's latest film is slightly less along the lines of Daily Express panic than one of his recent efforts, it's still not too far off. Once The Incident™ occurs*1 the story settles more into problem-solving mode and less 'make people needlessly (even more) scared of pharmacautical companies'. Unfortunately, the downside of this is that we spend more time in Jude Law's company and less in Rooney Mara's. While I genuinely believe Mara's performance in this film is nothing short of outstanding, everyone else seems to be phoning it in (with the exception of CZJ, who seems to be aiming even lower by reprising her role from Rock of Ages, but without singing).

And it all coasts along quite nicely until the last twenty minutes, which seems to have been when the cleaners came in late one Friday afternoon and typed a new ending because they'd accidentally destroyed the original. From a story point-of-view, it makes some sense, but stylistically, it's quite baffling. A bit like falling asleep watching a thriller on Channel 5, then waking up to their late-night schedule. I imagine.

All in all, Side Effects works well enough, but it's nowhere near as smooth as it'd like to be. That said, it's worth watching for Rooney Mara. The woman has a serious talent.

MAJOR PLOT SPOILERS (highlight to read): See? It wasn't the evil pharma companies what done it this time! It was THE EVIL LESBIANS! You had your hand, and you played it like a fucking hero, Steven. I look forward to your film, The Evil Immigrants Done It. What's that? You're retiring?. Yes, I suppose that is for the best…

The whodunnit? is nicely executed; the whydunnit?, not so much.

Is the trailer representative of the film?
Mmmm, not really.

Did I laugh, cry, gasp and sigh when I was supposed to?

Does it achieve what it sets out to do?

Pay at the cinema, Rent on DVD or just wait for it to be on the telly?

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?

Will I watch it again?

Is there a Wilhelm Scream?

And because you won't be happy until I've given it a score...

*1 And in fairness, when The Incident™ did occur, I winced and heard plenty of audible gasps in the cinema. That moment was well played.

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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