Cosmopolis15 ¦ Blu-ray & DVD
Director David Cronenberg must have thought all his lottery numbers had come up when he was given the news that Robert Pattinson accepted the lead in his film. He probably thought that this would open his style of film-making to a whole new audience. And if nothing else, it'll turn a profit simply because heart-throb du jour Pattinson was involved.
One thing is for sure, Cronenberg had no intention of dumbing down for Pattinson's young fan base; not that they would be the only ones to be scratching their heads in bewilderment by the film's end.
For whatever reason, young billionaire Eric Packer (Pattinson) has decided that today's the day he wants his haircut. As far as his bodyguard Torval (Kevin Durand) is concerned, his timing couldn't possibly be worse; The President of the US of A is in town, as is an angry mob on the streets who are protesting at the heinous economic state of the country. On top of that, the funeral is taking place of a popular musician. This means that traffic is a bitch.
Packer isn't concerned at all by the events taking place around him; in fact, he isn't really concerned with anything happening around him. He really wants his hair cut though, so off his tech-laden limo goes on its precarious journey.
Thanks to the high-tech spec of his limo, Packer can take care of all his business needs within the vehicle, without ever going to his office. Throughout the day he has many visitors, some just drop in to satiate his sexual appetite; despite being a newlywed of 22 days, his new bride, the über wealthy Elise (Sarah Gadon), isn't on the same page as her new hubby.
As the car drives through town, and the day starts to fade, Packer finds himself in an ever-increasing destructive mood that doesn't bode well for him at all.
Cronenberg was clearly a huge fan of his source material, Don Delillo's 2003 novel of the same name, as he admits (on an interview on the Blu-ray) to taking all the dialogue out of the book and throwing it on the page to make the nuts and bolts of his script, which took him six days to write.
You can also see the appeal for Pattinson; it's possibly his first, proper, grown up role that doesn't pander to his image as a romantic lead. It was certainly a bold decision on his part to take the role on, it's just a shame that, much like his character's attitude, it will leave you feeling so indifferent.
Cronenberg's first mistake was taking Delillo's dialogue and using it all. The film has more words than an Oxford English Dictionary, and is just as exciting. It's far from accessible either; it's probably a scathing social commentary on today's economic woes, but it's just too difficult to stay awake through to comprehend.
Parker's journey, no doubt allegorical as well as physical, is just as dull as dull can be. It plods along at such a pace that even snails would be embarrassed by how slow it is as they overtook.
Pattinson will no doubt be chuffed that he was able to make a film without him having to make eyes at his female co-star for change, but his performance, although brave in choice gives no indication of any extension to his somewhat limited existing acting range.
It may well have a certain appeal for the more esoteric, but as a piece of entertainment Cosmopolis fails miserably.
It's so disappointing when you see the likes of quality actors such as Juliette Binoche, Samantha Morton and Paul Giamatti talking utter gibberish, and unable to remove the film's pseudo intellectual head that's firmly stuck up its own derriere.
To see a director of Cronenberg's calibre passionate about a project is all well and good, but when it's at the expense of an audience, then you have to worry.
Even if you're a Pattinson fan – in fact, especially if you're a Pattinson fan - Cosmopolis is a film best well avoided.