The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
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All Critics (12)
| Top Critics (6)
| Fresh (2)
| Rotten (10)
In definite need of a sea breeze to cool off its overheated characters, the Greek melodrama Blackmail Boy reaches for tragedy but settles for soap opera.
It's a mean-spirited exercise in stilted outrageousness.
There are moments of amusing melodrama, but for the most part, the action is too preposterous to take seriously, and too serious to be very much fun.
Toward the end, there's a delightful dream sequence, which shows that director-writers Michalis Reppas and Thanassis Papathanasiou aren't complete hacks. Perhaps they'll do better the next time out.
The Greek film Blackmail Boy has the feel of farce at times, but much of the time it just seems determined to shock.
The hysteria is relentless: shrieking, punching, puking, trigger pulling. Overheard bits of inane party chatter provide the only moments of levity; otherwise the theater of cruelty slogs on with no cathartic release.
Their super-tawdry film becomes as compulsively watchable as it is often inadvertently laughable.
Without its soporific asides, Oxygono would have succeeded in creating its own tone of intelligent noir irreverence.
If only this were a farce, but, no, it's deadly earnest and eventually just deadly.
The movie crumbles under the weight of its own serious-mindedness.
The tone is so poorly established that it takes a while to realize its cavalcade of outrageous misfortunes is meant to be farcical, not melodramatic.
The only trick the filmmakers pull off is wasting a perfectly cute Tsimitselis on a pair of underwear two sizes too big.
Heavy duty dramatics and a sordid story but it's involving and the acting isn't bad if at times a bit over the top.
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