Thursday, July 25, 2013

Only God Forgives

The brother (Tom Burke) of a mentally disturbed Bangkok drug lord (Ryan Gosling) is brutally murdered in retaliation for the rape and murder of a 16-year old girl. In flies their malignant, icy mother (Kristin Scott Thomas) to collect her son's body and exact revenge on the warrior-like police captain (Vithaya Pansringarm) who approved the murder. Is there a worse kind of movie than a plotless, humorless slog with haughty intentions and a complete self-seriousness, and furthermore one that exists only for the purpose of its scenes of extreme punctuating violence? Nicolas Winding Refn's follow-up to Drive, which reteams him with an ever glaring Gosling (this time to the point of ludicrousness), feels like it was made by a third grader on steroids with art school aspirations and with a glacial pace that, although the move is only 90 minutes long, would make Berlin Alexanderplatz glide by with the alacrity of a Little Rascals short. Only God Forgives is an ugly, vile mess that shows both how quickly a positive collaboration can turn sour and how two talents can wind up with their heads up their asses without even knowing so.