2015 dystopian satire

Rating: 12/20

Plot: A doctor moves into an apartment building that is arranged according to class by that mean lion who killed his brother in The Lion King. The social experiment or whatever it is starts to break down.

This flashy, artsy-fartsy mess of a movie failed to connect. I thought individual scenes and shots were brilliant. A kaleidoscopic shot, a slow-motion soundless suicide, the evolution of decay in the sets, several surrealistic scenes, and others made it obvious that director Ben Wheatley really knows how to make some pretty pictures. The storytelling, however, as anarchic as the behavior of the characters once the system starts to collapse, frustrated, and I really had a difficult time connecting with any of the characters or figuring out exactly what their roles were, either literally or allegorically.

The satire feels a bit too easy. It's the kind of idea that's easy to figure out very early on, and then nothing the characters do or any of the shocking things that happen really deepen any of those ideas.

So aside from some visually beautiful moments, some pretty good performances (Jeremy Irons, Tom Hiddleston, Luke Evans, Sienna Miller), and some scenes made more vivacious by a pretty good soundtrack (including a great use of an Amon Duul song and a piano rendition of Cat Stevens' "Morning Has Broken"), this is a bleak and pretty boring experience.

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