he best thing about Cloud Atlas is that it could, and should, turn into a properly divisive film... but one has to ask: does it allow for immersion? Even as we applaud the dramatic machinery, are we being kept emotionally at bay?
"Cloud Atlas" offers more answers than it does questions, and by the end of its nearly three-hour running time - which flies by surprisingly fast, all things considered - it feels like the most feverishly expensive late-night college bull session ever.
Take a collection of stories, connect them through portentous themes and watch it all spin. We've seen it before -Babel, anyone? - but nothing is quite like the daft, brazenly ambitious cosmic fantasia ofCloud Atlas.
It's kind of astonishing that for all its ambition and accomplishment, and for the ostensibly subversive philosophy it pushes, "Cloud Atlas" ends up being just another platitudinous overblown pummel-you-into-submission movie-machine.