Review: Cloud Atlas

Review 2012 by RD Clark



Cloud Atlas

Written by: From the novel by David Mitchell, Screenplay by Lana & Andy Wachowski, Tom Tykwer

Directed by: Lana Wachowski, Andy Wachowski, Tom Tykwer

Starring: Tom Hanks, Hugo Weaving, Halle Berry, Jim Sturgess, Jim Broadbent, Doona Bae, Keith David, Xun Zhou, Ben Whishaw, James D’Arcy, Susan Sarandon, Hugh Grant

Rated R for some nudity and language
Running time: 164 mins

Six interconnected stories that span hundreds of years attempt to show how the actions of individuals across the ages affect…stuff. I won’t even attempt to summarize this film; there is way too much going on and I would end up casting spoilers into the review.

First off, this is a very ambitious attempt to interweave past, present and future events into a web of causality and congruity and unfortunately fails completely at it. The individual stories are compelling enough, but their relevance to each other is tenuous and stretched. I hoped that by the end of each there would be a big revelation, but it never came and I felt a big-let down at the finale. I thought the best of the stories was The Ghastly Ordeal of Timothy Cavendish and Jim Broadbent was pretty spectacular here. But the movie quickly became a “spot the star” gimmick that distracted from the narrative. (See if you can spot Hugh Grant in the “After The Fall” bit.)

I will say that the acting, especially by Hanks and Weaving was mostly top-notch, but Halle Berry offered nothing really spectacular and Susan Sarandon was wasted here. The settings were very nice eye candy, especially the sea voyages. The Neo-Seoul scenario looked good until they got jarringly lazy with the special effects in the cycle chase. There were so many of these good-to-terrible transitions that I wondered if the money was running out.

I cannot recommend this film; it is almost three hours long and to invest that much time in a movie, there needs to be a huge payoff that this film does not offer. Several people left during the showing and I noticed folks looking at their watches and tapping their feet. Save watching this one for Netflix or rental. At least you can pause it when you need a potty break.

Flytrap rating: 6/10

Want to discuss / rebut / flame me?

Leave a reply below or go here:
Hole In The Hill Forums