Mary Poppins Returns
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All Critics (11)
| Top Critics (6)
| Fresh (2)
| Rotten (9)
To call it amateurish would be kind.
Begins as a fitfully intriguing character study before flying off the rails as a nightmarish vision of government encroachment on free thought.
It looks and feels like a particularly well made student film (so many colored filters), but the subject matter is rather more interesting and weirdly plausible than the recent spate of big-budget AI films.
Sullins' movie has its heart and brain in the right place, but its guts are a mess.
Director/screenwriter Khalil Sullins makes an auspicious feature debut with his audacious sci-fi thriller that's as engrossing as it is thought-provoking.
Too bad Sullins doesn't have a movie's worth of story out of this premise. Rather than pioneering into the frontiers of the mind, Listening slogs through the most well-traveled pits of screenwriting.
This is where Listening really falls apart - it doesn't seem to know what it wants to be.
Naive, hamfisted, and amateurish indie sci-fi... but as hilarious as the clumsy, clichéd execution is, it still isn't even worth it for the laughs.
... Listening displays courage: in embracing bold stylization and colors in an age of washed-out, gritty sci-fi; in not retreating from the more horrific aspects of the involved science...
Meditation as a countermeasure against a sinister mind-control conspiracy is a novel idea; too bad it's wedged into a rickety framework of numbingly conventional dramatic complications, half-hearted eroticism, and pervasive humorlessness.
This is a cerebral tale that has a few moments of true and unique invention, yet it can't quite live up to it's promise.
Has some important things to say, but is far from truly engaging.
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