D/W: David Cronenberg. DP: Peter Suschitzky. Starring: Robert Pattinson/Kevin Durand/Juliette Binoche/Jay Burachel/Sarah Gadon/Samantha Morton/Paul Giamatti. (Based on the novel by Don DeLillo)
At first, I might have admitted I was peeved at myself for not having read Don DeLillo’s novel, Cosmopolis. However, after sitting through nearly two hours of footage summarizing a day in the life of a pretty playboy in a limo, no peeving happening here. I originally mused…I am sure the novel is better and there is a story on the page. After that, I’m not so sure. Now I am sure, I just don’t care.
Replacing Colin Farrell who dropped out to do that little remake of a movie called Total Recall, Robert Pattinson got a big role put right in his lap. Yet as noted in Water for Elephants and the Twilight series, he fumbles with what he’s given. Confined to a limo as a rolling office for the majority of the film, Pattinson plays Eric Packer, a 20 something money making misogynist who fucks around all day. Sleek and stiff as usual, Pattinson does little to give his character charisma other than his gadgets and gizmos. He seems to be in a stupor most of the time and unfortunately, David Cronenberg’s script is also to be blamed.
The last Cronenberg film was 2011’s A Dangerous Method. Lush, complex and brimming with dialogue, that film had such life to it. Cosmopolis is it’s unwanted Cinderella step child that is actually stuffed up the chimney rather than degraded to cleaning it. Cronenberg’s script is very word heavy and with some doozey lines that actually detract and pull you out of the limo version of Manhattan. For a story so bent on obsessing about the lack of substance money buys, the disconnection of urban life, and luxurious boredom, the film never went beyond just that. Boredom.
A hardy few claps must be given to Kevin Durand as Pattinson’s chief of security. He spends most of the film crouching down into the limo and apparently could keep a straight face while doing it repeatedly. Both Juliette Binoche and Samantha Morton make brief and forgettable appearances, which is much more disappointing for them then anyone will admit. But what is even more embarrassing is Paul Giamatti’s raging scenes towards the end. My only hope is that so few people see this film that no one else will have the scars from that last twenty minutes. You have been warned.