Sunday, March 28, 2010
Investikudos at the Movies: Remember Me
Note: we'll try to keep this review spoiler-free on details but there will be spoilers nonetheless.
Tyler Hawkins is an angry man. An angry chain smoking man. Now, he's partially entitled to it, because he seems to have a strong sense of morals, hates injustice, is an incredibly protective big brother and has a strange reaction to everything established. He can't count on much in life, though technically he could have everything. But when you are broken inside by tragic events in the past, you kind of have to work with what you got.
Ultimately, in a nutshell, Tyler learns about healing and changing through the people around him; his deceased brother, his best friend, his rocky relationship with his father and the strong bond with his younger sister. Oh, and he meets a girl with her own emotional baggage, but she seems to be dealing a lot better than he does.
In the end, Tyler is searching and evolving. Personal growth developing to a New York background. How brokenness doesn't have to be permanent. How it's between what you leave behind after you're gone and what you do when you are still around.
Remember Me expresses a main theme of "meaning"
Meaning in love, loss, being lost and being found. Learning, growing. Dealing with anger and healing. All beautiful sentiments which aren't new to cinema, which don't have you end up with the feeling "you've learned something" when the credits roll. It's not that the themes aren't well presented or acted, it's just that Remember Me doesn't exactly offer a refreshing view.
That's not a bad thing though. The movie doesn't pretend to do any of those things.
And there are different things about Remember Me that simply don't work.
The editing and the PG-13 rating don't help Remember Me. There are some strange cuts between scenes occasionally. The rating makes a difference too. We try and understand why Summit chose this rating so Twilight teens could watch the movie as well, but it takes away from the story. It's a gritty story and now has a veil of harmlessness draped over it, which should have not been there. It should have been as rough as it could have been without that rating.
The ending; we don't feel it was appropriate or necessary. We understand the emotion behind it and how it may affect New Yorkers or US viewers in general. Some will love it, others will find it a disgrace. There is something we liked about it though and that's the fact the right character dies (as far as that's right to begin with) It ties all the people in this film together in a way and I suppose that maybe that's why that ending was chosen, because that horrible day did tie people together and bound them for life through the same traumatic experience and their strength. "Remember Me" indeed. While the thought of it makes sense, we can't say we fully understand the use of it. The word cheesy springs to mind, like a last minute bomb that needs to be dropped. The execution works but it feels misplaced nonetheless
The acting is between fantastic and decent. Rob is fantastic and his performance is amazing. It carries the entire film and it's the only reason we'll watch it again on DVD. It helps that he looks smoking hot (and hot smoking...) but if we put aside the lust, there is simply no denying it. This film is build on Rob and Rob alone. The rest of the cast do well, but Rob surpasses them with ease. Edward freaking Cullen, who? ;)
Pierce Brosnan does well, though his performance was not groundbreaking. His tough exterior left nothing to be desired, the emotional turn around was expected. Brosnan did what he had to with the part and it was good. No more, no less.
Ruby Jerins has a great rapport with Rob as his younger sister Caroline. If you single out someone besides Rob, it's her.
Emilie deRavin. We like what she did with the part, but we don't find it impressive. She is likeable. But not hugely significant. It certainly doesn't stand out for us.
We tried and feel the love between Tyler and Ally but we ended up missing the depth we were expecting beforehand. Rob and Emilie have good movie chemistry at best, which ultimately is what counts to the viewer, but we weren't moved by the relationship the way we were by the family dynamics between the Hawkins' family. Father and son, brother and sister. That's what impressed and touched us the most. The romance is decent, but not spectacular; basically a nice B-plot in the film in our opinion.
Finally, what Remember Me taught us without purpose.
We'll call it The Rosenberg Effect or TRE for short. It's missing in Remember Me, because - shocking - Remember Me actually has a decent script. Thus showing that Rob can do more than utter two cheesy sentences at a time. It's a shame really, knowing TRE drags good actors like Rob (and Kristen) down to a level of subparness resulting in the astonishing reactions of critics, fans, supporters and random people when this film teaches them that low and behold...Rob can act!
Yes, the boy can act. But then, if you've seen the Haunted Airman, How To Be or even Little Ashes, you would know that his strong suit may not be getting all "vamped up" but that he does know what to do with his material (in every sense of the word) even if it's been tainted with TRE. So even if you end up unimpressed with Remember Me as a story, Rob will leave you completely impressed and excited for what's to come from him in the future.
We'll leave you with the GMTV interview with Rob