Cloud Atlas has received mostly positive reviews and while it provides some entertainment value, it is a failure in a number of areas. The film tells a number of stories over different periods of time, that are supposed to in the end come together to form a cohesive set of events. Even after its nearly three hours, you are still left with more questions than answers and the story never bonds as one would hope.
Some of the best scenes of the CA stray far away from its serious, epic storyline. Particularly the escapades of Timothy Cavendish, played by Jim Broadbent, provide some much needed lighthearted moments in a movie that is otherwise trying to be much too ambitious for its own good. Directors Andy and Lana Wachowski, the minds behind The Matrix, failed to put anything to screen here that can hold a candle to their sci-fi trilogy.
There are some great individual performances in the movie and there are certainly memorable moments, however in the end you are still feeling like you are waiting on the punchline of a joke that is sadly never coming. The original novel by David Mitchell may provide more insight, but unfortunately you are left not caring enough about the characters that you want to know more of them.
MILD SPOILERS BELOW:
Sony’s Resident Evil film franchise is getting further and further away from the game series that it is supposed to be based upon. The creators of these films have decided to arbitrarily throw in characters and ideas from the game series without explaining who and what they are.
In this fifth film, titled Retribution, Paul W.S. Anderson, who has written all five films and now directed three, proved once again he knows very little of the game series. He seems like he must grab a character list and synopsis of each game and just grabs pieces from them without even having a true understanding of them. Anderson has seemingly never played the games, and if he has, he is truly failing to bring the tone and spirit of them to the big screen.
In Retribution, former Raccoon City police officers Barry Burton and Leon S. Kennedy, originally from Resident Evil and Resident Evil 2, respectively, have been thrown in without giving the audience even a clue of who they are or that they have a history with other characters present, such as Jill Valentine.
I have been scratching my head since the original film in 2002 as to why they have chosen to base the series around Alice, portrayed by Milla Jovovich, a character who was never in any of the games to begin with. Her character, along with overly stylized martial arts sequences and plenty of other cheesy moments, can make these films difficult to watch at times. I was one false step away from leaving the theatre halfway through Retribution.
With a sixth film completely evident going by the ending of this one, it seems I may have to endure one more of these films.