I love long takes. I think they are an excellent way to highlight scene geography and build narrative tension in a film. I know they are complex endeavours that require every person involved to operate in unison. I find them thrilling.
Awake is full of long takes and other interesting camera work. It has fight scenes inside cars, long walks through buildings, and car crashes from the passengers perspective. Unfortunately, what it doesn’t have is a good story to tell, which is a shame because technically, the film is a stunner.
You’ve seen this before. The normal small-town man with a hilariously comprehensive home security system (which he uses to save stray cats) and excellent hacker skills (which he uses to help kids advance in video games), whose quiet life is disrupted when his history as an elite assassin catches up to him. It’s a classic setup and one that has worked to great effect many times. Unfortunately, this is not one of those times.
In the 1980s one of the USAs biggest scandals was Iran-Contra, in which profits from arms sales to Iran were funnelled to Contra rebels in Nicaragua. That wasn’t the only source of cash for the Contras though; Reporter Gary Webb uncovered that Contras were helping Columbians smuggle cocaine into the USA with the Government and it’s agencies looking the other way (at least).
If it sounds like it would make a good movie then you’re in luck because they made a movie out of it.
The Lone Ranger hasn’t been on screen in more than 30 years. I remember watching reruns of the 60s tv series when I was a kid, watching the masked man fight for truth and justice with his partner Tonto with the William Tell Overture playing in the background. This was a time when heroes could be heroes without being complicated.
So how does that translate into the current times of dark, gritty, rebooted superheroes? Meh.
It’s been a whole since I had such mixed feelings about a movie.