Review of Reviews
I chose to compare and contrast two reviews of Nicolas Winding Refn’s latest film Only God Forgives. The film has a curious rating of only 40% on Rotten Tomatoes, so its close to being split right down the middle in terms of like/dislike ratio.
The first review I chose was by Ann Hornaday from the Washington Post. Its safe to say that Ann disliked the film, maybe even appropriate to say she loathed it. The second review I chose was by Blake Howard from graffiti with punctuation. Blake definitely represents the other half that loved the film. He almost gave it a perfect rating of four and a half stars out of five, whereas Ann Hornaday gave it an underwhelming one star out of five.
Blake Howard describes the ultra violence in this film as a thing of wonder and beauty and he sees Ryan Gosling’s character as intense and passionate. Ann Hornaday would vehemently disagree with Blake’s review since she described the constant violence as, ”like the big dance numbers in bad musicals: showy, artificial and meaningless.” There is so much violence in this film that Ann described Nicolas Winding Refn as a fetish filmmaker. His fetish evidently being violence. She claimes that he only made the film to please himself and disregarded the viewer. She also said Ryan Gosling’s performance was dull and a disappointing role for such a good actor. Ann’s review was the only one of the two to compare Only God Forgives to other films by Nicolas Winding Refn. She mentioned his ”impressive” earlier work, Valhalla Rising. Valhalla Rising is also quite violent so its safe to say she isn’t biased to bloody films.
The love or hate frenzy for this film is really quite interesting, it almost makes me want to see the film more. I just hope I like it as much as Blake does.