If you are not in the mood for car chases, gun battles, nuclear threats or absurd premises, then I suggest you stay home and rent Silver Linings Playbook. When a Tom Cruise-driven, alien-invasion, end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it extravaganza grosses $5 million opening weekend, you know there are some movies out there resetting the bar. So if you are craving salty snacks, an overpriced soda and some state-of-the-art computer-generated imaging, you won’t be disappointed…And, action!
The recipe for a good action movie is fairly simple: You need a believable, if not intelligent, premise; a seemingly undefeatable villain; and an unlikely, albeit handsome and hunky, hero. This movie has that in spades. Yes, it requires a certain willing suspension of disbelief, but don’t all action movies? I am happy to report that Gerard Butler must have fired his agent, as he has transitioned from crappy romantic comedy protagonist to spot-on action hero, a role for which he is much better suited.
When someone has a successful career, film makers tend to mine every aspect of the person’s life in hopes of discovering some pivotal moment to enlighten and inform the viewer. Here, the successful career is that of controversial journalist Hunter S. Thompson, and sadly, this particular period of his life—a period he felt so significant he wrote the source material—is at best underwhelming.
I don’t want to over-write, because I don’t want to give too much away, but let me start by saying this: the loss of Heath Ledger is such an unbelievable tragedy to the acting community, words cannot express. His performance as The Joker in this film is Oscar-worthy. His ice-cold disregard for human life and world order, coupled with his incomprehensible vulnerability, and even likeability, is astonishing. He will be missed.
Many of you may remember this movie because it was shot almost entirely in St. Louis. There are some nice, if fleeting, shots of MICDS and Market Street, as well as an exclusive Ladue residence that serves as Bill’s home. And that concludes the good news portion of the review. The bad news is this may be the worst movie I have ever seen in my life. I’m not kidding. I think I actually liked Gigli better. The only thing saving Aaron Eckhart’s career is that no one is going to see it.