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(Review originally written at 29 October 2010)

To me it's pretty obvious what this movie tries to attempt. It tries to put together many different story lines, featuring different characters, that all come together pretty fast into the movie. A storytelling technique that later got much better used and done by for instance director Alejandro González Iñárritu.

The movie is basically being presented as one big adventure movie, in which a whole bunch of characters go on a quest to safe a little boy's life. Only thing is, this 'adventure' is done as a drama. It has a s serious story, which just doesn't connect to well with the movie its quirky characters and all of the unlikely events happening in this movie.

The way all of these characters get thrown together in this movie is pretty weak. Basically they have absolutely nothing to do with each other but still for some odd reason they all stay together throughout the entire movie. At times the movie desperately tries to connect all of their stories together and weave them in with each other but it's all really thin. Everything that seems to happen in this movie seems as a coincidence and the movie is really hanging together from its coincidences.

And the characters aren't much good either really, despite the fact that they are being played by some well known actors. So they basically all have their issues but you just never get to care enough about any of the characters to to care or to feel attached to any of them. Their problems also aren't too 'deep' and the way everything gets resolved is again also hanging together from its coincidences and comes across as some lazy writing. It's almost as if its writing and its directing don't connect at all with each other, as if the director had a totally different movie in mind than the writer had, which is strange, considering that both were the same person.

For most part I still liked watching this movie but toward the end things really got worse, when the movie seemed to run out of ideas and everything just became less and less interesting and more and more of a pointless dragging movie that was heading towards an ending that wasn't much satisfying either. Once you start thinking about this movie, nothing gets really explained or resolved, so watching this movie is a very unsatisfying experience.

Still the entire idea behind this movie must have been good, not in the least because all of these great actors seemingly showed up for free to appear in this movie. Because it just didn't seemed as if this movie had an actual budget to work with. It's also a really cheap looking movie, that has a sort of TV look, or as if it got done by a couple of friends shooting a movie in their weekends.

You could say that the movie still have plenty of redeeming qualities, that still keep the movie somewhat watchable, such as its acting for instance but overall, in the end this is a very unrewarding movie, that is literally hanging together from its coincidences and some highly unlikely events, which all comes across as some weak and lazy writing.

5/10

About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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