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Yojimbo's Movie Reviews (2315)

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Funny Games (2008) 
"Funny Games" by Yojimbo
2/4 stars

A pair of sociopathic young men take a young family hostage and force them to endure a series of torturous mindgames for their own amusement. Funny Games is basically torture porn's answer to Rope, the two young conservative psychos are obviously intelligent and creepily polite in the same way as the Leopold and Loeb alikes of that film. In fact Haneke admirably uses the Hitchcockian device of making certain events happen off screen, sparing us the more gruesome violence and its knowing self-referential post-modernism can be used as the excuse that its "making a point" in the same way as Natural Born Killers and Man Bites Dog were. Allegedly. But the irony card is a very easy one to play and never escapes the fact that it relies on exactly the same format and devices of every other example of this kind of thing and his use of post modern elements such as the villains speaking directly to camera and the ridiculous remote control scene just come across as smart ass rather than clever. The actors no doubt licked their chops at the prospect of the aftermath scenes, but to the audience its just a load of snivelling and limping and phone maintenance, and it seems to go on forEVER. I'd heard a lot of good things about this film, but to me it's just Scream for the Hostel generation and your enjoyment relies entirely on whether or not you get a kick out of watching other people get physically and psychologically abused. Which I do not.


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