Ralph Breaks the Internet
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All Critics (33)
| Top Critics (12)
| Fresh (23)
| Rotten (10)
| DVD (1)
Engaging if uneven.
Since the robust 17th-century picaresque tale is not enjoying any current vogue, the success of "Restoration" can be considered a very pleasant surprise.
The film is overcome by the rumbling workings of a creaky plot as the story grows more serious.
The movie takes on a somber, fitful atmosphere of straining epic proportions. But it strays into an episodic bog that leaves it gasping for dramatic life.
Lively, lavish and grandly acted pageant.
What virtues the movie has are cosmetic.
Michael Hoffman's Restoration is a handsome, intelligent version of Rose Tremain's novel, brimming with gilded images and elegant, paradoxical ideas.
Gorgeous, witty romp that
An interesting evocation of a decadent era marked by opulence, excess and abject poverty. But works equally well as a study of personal redemption amidst the turmoil.
Ryan's hilariously out of place, but this is otherwise an entertaining yarn.
Despite its flaws, Restoration proves that Hollywood can at times treat history in satisfying manner.
Robert Downey, Jr. can do no wrong by me, and his expressiveness and irreverence are what make this film work. Seen through his eyes, the changing currents of the times are navigable only with large doses of dark humor and compassion.
An interesting movie about the choices one makes in their lives. Robert Downey is a 17th century physician who first makes a number of self-indulgent choices which backfire on him and he loses everything. He then is basically forced into helping in the efforts to fight the plague and since this the movies after all, things turn out fairly well for him.
I downgraded my ranking by one star because I watched Restoration a few years after the first time I had seen it, and had no idea that I had already seen it. I figured if I had totally forgotten I had ever seen it in the first place, it could not have been as good as I had rated it to start with.
Restoration is the sort of period piece that succeeds almost entirely in its world building. Set during the mid 1600s, after the English Civil War, the film revokes around a young physician and his escapades with the Royal aristocratic establishment. We see the evolution of his fall, discovery, and rise, set against a genuine historical period.
The thing that sets Restoration a part is its unique story-line. Certainly the themes are familiar, but Restoration is very ambitious in how it sets about resolving its plot. The film is expansive, introducing several main characters, and at various stages. We see Downey's character over a period of years, yet the film never feels rushed, paying off its story-lines well. That the film introduces major characters and hints at sub plots, but instead focuses its attention elsewhere, was refreshing, never feeling predictable (until the final act). The entire progression of Restoration was not concerned with hitting on plot points, being more concerned with immersing Downey's character in a variety of situations, and watching his development from there.
The one drawback with Restoration's expansive nature, however, is that we lack one central dramatic through line to anchor us. Downey's performance is strong, as are the others, but with the shifts in focus, the viewer can feel a bit disengaged, making it harder to keep us empathetic with the actions of those involved. Still, the script does a good job of providing us interestingy characters, and was intelligently written, with a keen sense of dialogue.
Overall, Restoration is a mature period piece for those that enjoy sophisticated world building and interesting characters, albeit with plot that is not quite as impacting.
Lavish production and a veritable glitterati of talent cannot hide a meandering script about a young doctor in old London who's seduced by the power, money and privilege of life in the court of the king.
Interesting idea shakily executed, Downey is good as usual as is Polly Walker but Meg Ryan is awful, she should never in anything but films set in modern times.
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