With the use of rotoscoping, this clearly was an experimental project, that didn't entirely paid off, by the end.

Its techniques and visual style help to make this an original movie to watch but when you look past this, the movie has little else to offer. The main story doesn't always work out that compelling, since most the time it is just meandering around and there isn't really being a good enough conflict in it story. At least not in its first half. It tries to create this but it doesn't ever get handled or developed properly enough and doesn't work out, until its last half hour, or so.

For me the movie was just too often about nothing. I know that it's supposed to about the slow descent of a drug addict, so not everything is supposed to make sense or follow a fast paced, action packed main story but surely they could had spiced up things a bit more at times, with some shorter sequences, some more interesting dialog and by letting its main characters do some more interesting stuff. Some character now instead come across as redundant ones and too many of them don't help to let its story move along.

And while the whole rotoscoping thing in this movie helps to make it unique and gives the movie a strong visual style, it was not something I was always too fond of or impressed with. Sometimes when the camera moved around the effects looked flat, literally. And besides, the whole effect looks like a layer, which you can simply apply to your movie, with any random big editing program. But apparently it all wasn't as easy as it looks, since post-production for this movie went on for 18 months.

The one thing I did really like about this movie, was Robert Downey Jr.'s performance. It was the highlight of the movie for me and the only thing that was truly fun and interesting about it. Lots of other great actors also appear in this movie but none of them works out as well as Downey Jr. did. And no, Keanu Reeves is not horrible, his character is just kind of flat but I think this was more due to its writing and directing approach, that deliberately tried to make his character one that was more of an introvert one.

An interesting movie experiment, that didn't entirely worked out but is still worth a watch.


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About Frank Veenstra

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