The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
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Third Person finds writer-director Paul Haggis working with a stellar cast and a worthy premise; unfortunately, he fails to fashion a consistently compelling movie out of the intriguing ingredients at his disposal.
All Critics (102)
| Top Critics (38)
| Fresh (25)
| Rotten (77)
It's a deeply dubious luxury-tourist fantasy about parallel lives in various foreign hotel rooms, and it shows a very strange need to punish and humiliate its female characters.
"Third Person" is such a solipsistic, navel-gazing creation that it seems to have barely made it out of Haggis' mind and onto the screen.
Even if the story begins to melt into itself, at the end it's still fascinating to watch Haggis move his players.
It's all, I'm sorry to say, a melodramatic slog.
"Third Person" doesn't lack for ambition, and it's nice to see Neeson in the kind of role that he excelled at before he morphed into an action star. But the film may have some folks wishing they'd bought a ticket to "Transformers 4" instead.
Trust is essential to any love relationship, writer-director Paul Haggis wants us to know, though he trusts us so little to grasp this theme ourselves that he makes his alter ego here, a world-weary novelist played by Liam Neeson, spell it out.
The cast could not have been better, pushing this already intense script into very strong territory.
What's that noise? It's the Metafiction Police coming to arrest this over-ambitious, pompous jiggery-pokery.
The question is if he realizes he more or less admitted to being a sociopath who remorselessly exploits the pain of those around him for the sake of drama.
A pretentious wreck of a movie that severely tests the patience.
Third Person has a number of distinct themes at work, manifested through characters and plots that are a mixed bag of believable and baffling.
When we reach our finale you can't help but feel somewhat detached and uninvolved in this title.
I admire the type of narrative exercise that Haggis is aiming at here, but the result is prolix, convoluted and disjointed, trying to bite off more than it can chew with too many silly revelations and moving from one twist to the next like a messy soap opera.
Bad reviews did not stop me from liking this romantic thriller directed and written by Paul Haggis, Starring Liam Neeson, Mila Kunis, Adrien Brody, Olivia Wilde, James Franco, Moran Atias, Kim Basinger, and Maria Bello, it offers three compelling stories which at the end melt into one.
Haggis followed his Academy Award winning formula from his film Crash, but this time he is dealing with relationships. Stories were told in Paris, New York and Rome, with each storyline following a different stage of a love relationship from the beginning, middle and the end. It wasn't successful result as Crash, but it has its own charm and artistic value.
I understand that many people will say that is dreary, but for me it had the right pace which allows the viewer to grasp some of the complexities of the emotions and their relationships. If you like solid directing, check it out!
Paul Haggis is the Oscar-winning writer/director of Crash, so a man not known for subtlety. And that can be fine, but with his latest effort, Haggis wastes his time on a sluggish triptych that doesn't come together in any satisfying or clever manner. Like Crash, we follow multiple storylines that we expect to intersect or crisscross. Liam Neeson plays an arrogant author checked into a French hotel trying to write his next novel. He engages in a series of cruel and flirty games with his mistress (Olivia Wilde). Adrien Brody plays a fashion spy in Italy who grows a conscience to help an immigrant regain her daughter. Mila Kunis is a New York actress struggling to get her life in order so she can regain some measure of custody for her son. Right away, the characters are rather bland and remote, refusing to provide much depth or development. Then there's the fact that the plot requires so little of them, falling into a deadly lethargy that it can't shake free from. You keep waiting for something more significant to take place but the characters just dawdle, spouting dialogue that never feels authentic. I kept waiting for the twist spoiled by the trailer for Third Person, and by the time two hours passed, I had to note that it was not a mid-movie twist spoiled by the trailer, it was the twist ending. Did the marketing department watch their own movie? I've never seen that before; late plot developments, yes, but never the twist ending. There is a reason why these characters are so poorly developed but it's still not a satisfying reason to watch blasé people blunder around with little direction for over two hours, especially when they have no discernible connection to one another beyond heavy-handed linked themes. Hey, at least Third Person has a favorable amount of Olivia Wilde nudity to keep your interest, if you're like me. After that's done, though, you can check out just like this array of substandard and morose characters.
Nate's Grade: C
Paul Haggis strikes out with his new film. He goes back to the same territory of doing a drama with an ensemble with multiple stories going on and they ended up being connected. He did that successfully in Crash. However, here he doesn't do it right. While Crash dealt with racism, this film deals with relationships and trust issues. This film reminded me a lot of the Bradley Cooper film, The Words (that film also had Olivia Wilde in it). The big twist revelation at the end of the movie didn't surprise me at all. I kind of got the feeling very early in the movie that the film was headed for that revelation of how all 3 stories are connected.
The strongest of the 3 stories is the Liam Neeson story. His character is the focus and epicenter of this film. Adrien Brody's story was a bit fascinating but it wasn't connected really well at the end of the film. I found the Mila Kunis story a bit weak and got the shortest screen time of all the 3 stories in the film.
All the performances are very good. I thought Haggis did a great job casting all his actors. It is great seeing Neeson in a film that is not an action film. Olivia Wilde is really good her. Mila Kunis does a good job but she needed more screen time. The confrontation scene she has with James Franco is very good. I am getting used to seeing Mila and James in movies (example: Oz, Date Night). Adrien Brody is also good in the film. Kim Basinger, Maria Bello, and Franco also provide some solid supporting work.
Overall, if you check it out, then see it for the performances. For a better ensemble multiple stories dealing with relationships that connect well at the end of the film, then check out Playing By Heart, with Angelina Jolie, Dennis Quaid, and Sean Connery.
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