(Review originally written at 30 July 2008)

What a miss from the otherwise successful duo Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney.

It takes a slow approach, you know with static shots and all but nevertheless still doesn't feature any real long sequences. Because of this the approach just doesn't really work out for the movie. The movie also doesn't ever really properly build up things. Things just happen as they come along, making it all the more harder to understand or find ever realistic. It's also the reason why the movie is fairly short. It's especially short when considering the movie its source material and when comparing it to the 1972 first version of the movie, that is over an hour longer. I'll bet that the movie is even worse and more confusing to follow when you haven't read the Stanislaw Lem novel, or have seen the 1972 Soviet version of the movie, by Andrei Tarkovsky. Since then you'll probably have simply no idea what this movie is all about.

The movie doesn't feature any deeper meanings to it, as if Steven Sodenbergh didn't really understood any of the meanings of the original story. Or perhaps he simply tried to make a simplified and more mainstream version. It just totally misses its mark and fails on basically every level. For a mystery it's just way too confusing and doesn't have the right atmosphere for it, for a drama its not involving enough and for a romantic movie it just isn't credible, mainly because of Natascha McElhone.

Of course the movie is still great looking and Steven Soderbergh is of course still a very skilled director, despite really missing the mark with this movie.

It's also nice to see the actors at work, despite not being given great material to work with. George Clooney is always great in any movie and in any type of role. Most other roles in the movie though sort of leave a pointless impression, or at least not significant enough for the story, with the exception of the Natascha McElhone character of course but I don't know, she is just an actress who always sort of annoys me.

Confusing, non-engaging mess, that misses its mark, despite it's wonderful and powerful source material.


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About Frank Veenstra

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