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ikkegoemikke's Movie Reviews (506)

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Only God Forgives 
A sad attempt to emulate "Drive"
1/4 stars

Refn wants to show clearly what he's good in. Namely bringing a simple story to a higher level by stylistic and artistic tricks . As with "Drive" there is a lot of commotion about this movie and there are pro's and contra's of this movie. Refn apparently seems to be a huge fan of David Lynch. Some will consider it as a work of art . Others will qualify it more as complete nonsense and a waste of time when you watch this movie . My opinion lies in between those two and consider it as a great achievement to make an artistic tale of a meaningless story. The intellectual movie audience obviously will give a standing ovation for this one and it will lead to all kinds of theories and opinions. Think long enough about it and you'll discover a deeper philosophical content with appropriate symbolism . If you don't think about it too long, it is actually an empty box with careful attention to the correct ISO settings and lenses that were used .

Without a doubt , most images are aesthetically pleasing with its esoteric , neon exposures and the numerous moments where the characters are looking silently around. However, most passages are sometimes so absurd and hilarious. The sequence of a murder , the revenge of the daughters father and a Karaoke bar, in that order, gave me on one side a wondering impression , and on the other hand, I could not suppress shaking my head, chuckling . The karaoke is reused a few times in this movie. I'm still wondering what the symbolic value this has.

When you look at the characters it seems like a bunch of autistic persons , who react in the most unnatural way to situations ,take their time to give a meaningful response and after that start staring at an infinite point. Each of them master the best "Bold and the Beautiful"-staring technique. Gosling is actually a duplicate of his character in "Drive" . A silent person with the empathy of a good working American fridge . The news about the death of his brother, not even makes a small change in his facial expression . The fact that he's actually totally harassed and ignored by his mother , raises the same dispassionate attitude .

The entire movie is a concatenation and a secure editing of fragments with lots of neon light and proportional masterfully placed image impressions . A snapshot of a belt , a beautiful oriental girl behind red fluorescent beads , a flash of bodybuilders , a karaoke bar , at the ceiling staring people .... Take all the moments away where someone meaningless stares at the horizon , and you keep a simple revenge story of roughly 20 minutes.

To make it acceptable for a larger audience you throw some bloody fragments in it and a realistic, lively fight where Gosling end up with a rather damaged face.

In short : a simple revenge story held together by arty interventions . In my view, not such a work of art as it should appear to be.

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