This movie was released on the day that Jupiter ascended in the night sky (or something) which was about the coolest thing this movie did. Don’t get me wrong, it was not a bad movie but it was in no way worth going out of my way to see, especially since it cost me money. I heard people explaining its poor box office numbers as the result of releasing a summer blockbuster in the winter. But that was not the case. Those critics are way too nice. It got the numbers it deserved.
Now that is not to say that the movie had no merit. So here is what I liked about the movie.
Eddie Redmayne: Okay, so this wasn’t an award-winning performance but that is because the character was not written to be an award-winning role. Eddie brought his quiet talent to the role to his credit. He had a tight control on his physical and vocal emoting. It was beautiful and not just because I’ve been his fan since his mostly cut role in The Other Boleyn Girl. The character and lack of emphasis on the movie as a contender for awards seemed to free him. It was a cool role for him and he rocked it out. Any lack of audience applause was not his fault but rather the script.
The rest of the cast: Did a decent job. The acting was decent and lived up to the script. (Although, I can’t help but feel the comparison between this movie and the fake spoof over-the-top movie they included in the updated Annie this past fall.)
Possibly the redeeming factor in this movie is the integration of mythology. There are three super important siblings in this movie and they each embody elements of one of three religions. Eddie Redmayne’s character was Norse. The sister was Hindu. The other brother was Greco-Roman. The costuming and architecture were beautiful without being distracting. It was a nice touch and more than I expected since the rest of the script seemed to lack any real layering.
I also liked the social issue the entire movie addressed but while it was an interesting presentation it ended up taking a back seat because the movie was way more worried about building a romance than they were about delivering the concept in the best way possible.
One of the big issues with the movie was the actual script and execution. It felt like everyone had a good idea but ended up hitting a point in the writing and production where they just said, “Meh, good enough. Let’s go make this into money.”
But the worst thing about the movie was the choices made behind the cameras.
First, the movie was way too dark. Just because you are going for a dark tone in the movie doesn’t mean that turning down the lights in every frame will guarantee success. There were some beautiful architectural details that got lost in all of the shadows and dark lighting. And I can’t help but feel that dark lighting that is not supported by a strong tension in the acting and script makes me kind of tired physically.
Second, they insisted on close action angles. Obviously, I have strong feelings about this. I won’t keep beating it. But I hate when an entire action scene is just close-ups of biceps and feet.
Verdict: I’m sure it will be on some movie station late at night over a holiday. You can watch it then.