“Movies really don’t get much worse than Nicholas Winding Refn‘s ‘Only God Forgives’,” wrote Hollywood Elsewhere’s Jeffrey Wells. “It’s a sh-- macho fantasy — hyperviolent, ethically repulsive, sad, nonsensical, deathly dull, snail-paced, idiotic, possibly woman-hating, visually suffocating, pretentious. I realize I sound like Rex Reed on one of his rants, but trust me, please — this is a defecation by an over-praised, over-indulged director who thinks anything he craps out is worthy of your time. I felt violated, s*** upon, sedated, narcotized, appalled and bored stiff.”
I'm prepared to be blasted for this, because I know the love that Drive got on this board, but I'm not surprised by the director overreaching with his followup.
I'm curious if people agree or disagree that Hollywood is becoming too dependent on shocking violence, even in the indie world, which used to focus on storytelling and unique direction, where filmmakers tend to try to be more gritty and realistic.
Everywhere you look, on television with gory shows like Following or Hannibal, not to mention great shows like Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, or Dexter, to the big screen with slasher/horror flicks being pumped out ad nauseum, we are constantly seeing a ratcheting up of unfiltered violent acts that honestly just seems lazy to me. Even early reviews of a comedy like Hangover III seem to point to a too dark and depraved turn from the fun and funny spirit of the original.
It seems like there is always this new instinct to "go dark". Sometimes, as with Nolan's Batman trilogy, it works to perfection. But that's when as much respect and effort is put into the story as the creation of carnage that we see on screen.
I'm not some conservative viewer at all, and I'm also not someone who blames Hollywood when real life events mirror things we see on screen, but as a viewer, I just don't like the trend.
What does the MTV Board think? Why such a motivation to portray negative images on screen? Is this good or bad for cinema? Is it here to stay, or will we see the pendulum swing back the other way at some point?
Sorry if this isn't very clear, but it's something I've been thinking about recently that I'm trying to put into words for the first time.
This post was edited on 5/23 at 2:10 pm