Thursday, February 11, 2016


2015, US, directed by Denis Villeneuve

A fairly effective genre picture, with a fairly quick setup and a smooth visual style that's much more attractive than the shakycam aesthetic so prevalent in recent years. Roger Deakins's work is very fine indeed, including in the set-piece that uses at least three kinds of footage (aerial, night-sight, "normal"), with the transitions being used to ensure greater rather than less clarity, again at odds with much recent action direction style. Interesting to encounter the film so quickly after reading Robert Andrew Powell's fine book This Love is Not for Cowards, given the Juárez setting, though there's a certain moral queasiness in watching the filmmakers milk that city's pain for cinematic effect, even more so when it purports to be strictly contemporary while really representing a short-lived, especially bloody peak in Juárez's history.

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Boston, Massachusetts, United States