The Tesseract Reviews
I watched this because the screen play was written by one of my favourite authors. Here his writing style is minimal, but realistic. I would dearly love to see some of his own novels dramatised well.
On the one hand, I've developed a liking to some of the short stories that Alex Garland has written and the same applies to the ones that have been turned into films.
Unfortunately, the complexity of the structures he uses in his books means that they all tend to require a very deft hand to make sense of the deliberate mess.
This, being a much smaller and pretty much independent affair falls short of the mark simply because it doesn't make much sense.
The thing is, the story here is actually quite simple and so the broken structure becomes nothing more than a gimmick to telling the story and it is one that doesn't even work all that well. At one point, it is a subtle change of persepctive that gives context to the time frame, then it changes to being a "dream" of sorts caused by delirium.
There's a irrelevent side story/character that could've been omitted without affecting the film.
There are characters that have no substance beyond what they do on screen.
There are shoot outs and tense confrontations on stair-cases.
There are almost alegorical interviews about dreams.
Once you get past the opening sequence and into the first proper scene, you get the idea that they didn't know what or how to make this film and what you ultimately end up with, is a bit of a mess.
Some bits look good but mostly, it's too close to being a collection of vaguely connected stories let down by the fact that the stories aren't told that well. Too many missing pieces of a puzzle that leaves you with only bits of the story.
The whole idea of different people's lives converging and a story told through multiple viewpoints is a familiar one, but the Tesseract brings nothing to the table apart from copious slow motion.
Literally half of the film is shot in slo-mo, with anything vaguely dramatic seemingly an excuse for things to drift at a snail's pace. Despite a number of shoot-outs receiving this treatment they never achieve the kinetic excitement of John Woo or Tsui Hark at their peaks, and whilst the dramatic side is more fleshed out than your typical Hong Kong actioner, this Thai set thriller can't compete with some of the treats that have come out of Korea and the like in the last decade. there are plenty of style-over-content films from Hong Kong that work much better than this.
Also Jonathan Rhys-Meyers is an annoying little twot.
In short interesting storey but read the book and donā??t bother with the film.