Tribeca: High-Rise

High-Rise is the cinematic equivalent of a raisin muffin: it’s okay as long as you weren’t expecting chocolate chip.  But why not have chocolate chip to begin with?

High-Rise-1-Glamour-16Mar16-pr_bThe film’s biggest problem is that it took 40 years to convert J.G. Ballard’s novel of the same name into a movie.  In the meantime, Snowpiercer happened and was a way more awesome movie than High-Rise, or really anything else ever.

It’s not just that Snowpiercer had better acting, writing or directing than High-Rise (though it did).  High-Rise looks good but has a structural problem.  Call me an optimist but I couldn’t accept High-Rise’s premise of an isolated lawless world developing inside a skyscraper, not when the outside world remained completely accessible to the building’s inhabitants.  There’s no apocalypse event in High-Rise.  The building’s main doors aren’t ever blocked.  Mid-movie, a cop even pokes his head in to check whether things in the building are okay.  But for reasons that aren’t at all clear, instead of calling 911 to report any of the murders, suicides or sanitation issues inside the building, the residents all choose to stay inside, ignore the dead bodies 2016_11_high_riseand garbage bags that line the halls, and scavenge for dog meat rather than drive to the nearest supermarket for hot dogs.  That’s something that was impossible for me to swallow.

It’s too bad that conceptual problem is baked into High-Rise.  I wanted to like the movie but I just couldn’t.  Am I naive in thinking that people would take a bit of time between drunken orgies to leave the building and restock their snacks?   I hope not, though the numerous food references in this review tell me I’m very hungry, yet instead of going upstairs to our kitchen I’m still here typing…

High-Rise is not a bad movie, but if you’ve seen Snowpiercer then High-Rise feels like a pale imitation.  And if you haven’t seen Snowpiercer, what are you waiting for?

 

Advertisements

23 thoughts on “Tribeca: High-Rise

  1. Carrie Rubin

    Definitely sounds like a strange premise, but is that Tom Hiddleston I see? I’d watch him in anything. In fact, I’m watching him in The Night Manager on AMC right now. Sounds like it’s a better watch than this one!

    Like

    Reply
    1. Sean Post author

      It is indeed Tom Hiddleston starring in this, so you may want to check it out for him alone. And it’s a decent movie (well, not terrible) but there was just too much crazy stuff going on in the High-Rise for me.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. Jay

        I haven’t read it myself so I did not understand what I was getting myself into!!! It’s quite dark at times – so was Snowpiercer, but this is somehow more shocking…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Brittani

    I remember seeing the trailer for this, approving of a nude Hiddleston they were using to promote it, then realizing that it didn’t look very interesting at all. I’ll wait for naked Hiddles gifs instead. lol.

    Like

    Reply
  3. J.

    I really wanted to see this, but a colleague assured me that it was “utter shit”. He hadn’t read the book and said he had no intention to after watching the film. Shame that they messed it up. I have Snowpiercer at home, so manybe I should finally get around to watching that one …

    Like

    Reply
    1. Sean Post author

      I think Snowpiercer is better all around but especially because it makes clear that the passengers are trapped on the train. Since it has no similar forced isolation mechanism, High-Rise just didn’t make sense to me, and I could not get into it at all. I have not read the book but have to assume it’s the same basic premise – because if the book had a device forcing everyone to stay in the building then it surely would have been included in the movie. Or so you’d think…

      Like

      Reply
  4. Khalid Rafi

    I understand your complaints and I think they are all valid, but in order to completely enjoy this film I think you have to let it just wash over you. Not everything makes sense but its all so very intoxicating. I loved it. And I cant properly explain why, but I know I loved it.
    And while it reminded me of Snowpiercer I think it told a better story of social hierarchy because it wasnt as dour and depressing as Snowpiercer

    Like

    Reply
    1. Jay

      I definitely felt the Snowpiercer comparison, and much preferred Snowpiercer myself. In Snowpiercer you know why and how they’re stuck in this awful situation, but in High-Rise it’s just too contrived. Glaring plot holes just make me angry. There are definitely some interesting stylistic things happening in this movie but I couldn’t relax into the story, I was truly just too busy trying to make sense of it. The tone shifts so much, which I believe is intentional, it keeps you off guard, but I just could never tell how seriously it was taking itself.

      Like

      Reply
      1. Khalid Rafi

        Understandable and respect your opinion completely. But for me, it falls into that very rare category of films where it doesnt matter if everything is explained or not. And if I like a film to such an extent that I dont care whether every plot-point is explained than I know I’ve seen something truly special

        Like

  5. tf

    You seem to be taking the “leaving” concept too seriously. I am sure there is a reason they stay inside the building. Would we rather bask in our own filth than escape situations? Does dog meat bring up the savage in us? You review is basic.

    Like

    Reply
    1. Sean Post author

      The movie didn’t give me a reason to believe they would stay inside. Its failure to do that is a big flaw that took me out of it completely. For a less basic review I’d need a less basic movie and High-Rise isn’t it.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  6. Pingback: Neon Demon | ASSHOLES WATCHING MOVIES

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s