BY ISA MONTAGNESE
People seemed to be going nuts about this movie coming out, or as nuts as pseudo-art snobs can get. I went opening night and the theatre was packed. I was also kind of excited; I love Dead Man (1995) and Ghost Dog (1999), so I give James R. Jarmusch movies a chance. I also would basically watch anything with Tilda Swinton. I was expecting a subtle, smart, moody movie with lots of commentary about the world man, but instead I had a nap.
Lets talk about expectations. Sometimes you want to love something so much that whether its actually good or not, you love it anyways, like me with mac and cheese. I feel like that’s what was happening in the theatre during this movie. People were loving it, laughing out loud, laughing at odd times and some clapped at the end. This was not an exceptionally funny movie, and even the funny parts were quite cheap. I know Jarmusch is all cool and arty, but if he makes a snooze-fest, then call it what it is.
This movie seems to be an attempt at an alternative for a hugely popular genre: fantasy/romance/vampires/sunglasses at night. Jarmusch makes a lot of genre movies from a weird perspective and a lot of the time, they work; this, however, seemed half-assed. Fantasy is a fun genre because it has huge potential. If you’re making up a world, you can literally make it anything you want, which is why this movie was so disappointing. The two main characters (Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston) are ancient vampires who can do and be anything they want and most of the time, they choose to drive around Detroit. Whyyyyyyy?!
The one good thing I can say is Mia Wasikowska is great. She was kind of funny and silly; I could have done with way more her and way less Hiddleston (sorry everybody). Also, Swinton did not disappoint–she is a goddess. I’m happy to see more alternative fantasy/horror/thriller movies coming out lately. I love when people mess with formulaic genres, but please, everybody, less vampires and less dullness.