We’ve waited a decade for this. Ten years have passed since Jonathan Glazer’s Birth, and evidently more time is necessary for what might be the most talented director working today (Paul Thomas Andersson excluded of course) to deliver a film worthy of ranting about. Take in Sexy Beast, Birth and Glazer’s impressive body of commercial and music video work and it becomes more than apparent that he is capable of challenging the aforementioned PTA, but Under The Skin won’t do. It’s just not good enough.
Killer aliens led by an often naked Scarlett Johansson spells a summer hit in most cases, however best case scenario here is a slightly peeked interest and maybe a day of casual office fodder. Ultimately there are too many “interesting choices” to allow this to be anything more than a literal sideshow. Don’t misunderstand this less than neutral rant. The film caused me tears at one point thanks to the use of a man with an actual facial disfigurement, which is both a bold and defiant move. There is also the use of hidden cameras that were strategically placed in Johansson’s alien rape van (these cameras were used to capture unsuspecting Scotts that had no clue that they were being shot for a major motion picture as they approached the said alien rape van.) It’s elements such as these that will continue to pull us into Glazer’s world, as far out as that world might be. Whereas Steven Spielberg and his boatloads of talent panders to a fault, Glazer chooses a stubborn and unapproachable style that equals my level of frustration. The film’s uncompromising nature does not allow your average film snob (me) to send their uninitiated peers off to see it with confidence. Sure, the critics will approve due to fear of inferior intellectual exposure (I’m not sure I get it, but I’ll default to reporting genius status so as not to be exposed) and a few would be critic hipster fucks in your circle might do the same, but this is not the one. Jonathan Glazer will be a household name before we’re all gone, apparently we just need to wait a bit longer.
Update: 05/31/2014 As I continue to think about this film almost daily I’ve revisited my initial 2 of 5 rating and for the first time ever made an adjustment. Truth be told, I really want to see it again, but stand behind everything I said initially. There’s just so much bad and unoriginal shit on the screen I couldn’t stand behind such a paltry rating for something that contains so much to look at in awe.
Could Watch ( A lot to like here, but the package is lacking.)
3 0f 5
Must Watch = 5 0f 5 (See it in the theater if possible/buy it or pay for rental)
Should Watch = 4 of 5 (Worth a theater visit or sending away for)
Could Watch = 3 of 5 (If it’s on a pay channel or streaming for free)
Should Not Watch = 2 of 5 (Only if friends or family insist, and then be sure to warn them)
Do Not Watch = 1 of 5 (Don’t allow friends or family to make this mistake)