<script async src="//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js"></script> <!-- Showbiz Portal Bottom 1 300x250, created 10/15/10 --> <ins class="adsbygoogle" style="display:inline-block;width:300px;height:250px" data-ad-client="ca-pub-1272644781333770" data-ad-slot="2530175011"></ins> <script> (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); </script>
Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Apr 10, 2016

Demolition Movie Review: Serious Heavy Drama That Would Turn Off Most Local Viewers

WE THOUGHT ‘Demolition’ is an action film but it turned out to be some kind of serious existential drama, heavy stuff that would turn off most local viewers. To begin with, the lead character Jake Gyllenhaal as Davis, is totally unsympathetic that halfway through the movie, we’re already wishing that he’s the next to be demolished.

The movie opens with Jake in a car with his wife Julia (Heather Lind) driving. There’s a car crash and his wife dies. It’s her fault that they got into an accident because she was not paying attention to her driving at all. This sends Jake, who doesn’t even have a scratch or minor injury, to a zen-like crisis to the point of anhedonia, the loss of ability to experience any kind of pleasurable experience.

He just cannot make himself grieve. He forces himself to cry but he was more concerned that the vending machine in the hospital where his wife was taken is not working, so he writes a long long letter complaining to the company’s customer service representative, Karen (Naomi Watts.) As his coping mechanism, Jake then resorts to demolition or physical destruction. He dismantles and breaks down home appliances to see how they operate and, soon, he demolishes his own home with a sledgehammer and a bulldozer.

Director Jean Marc Vallee is a Canadian filmmaker concerned with people’s inner lives, as seen in his last movie, “Wild”, with Reese Witherspoon. He was more successful with “Dallas Buyers Club” that gave Oscars to its two main actors. The problem with “Demolition” is that it never really crystallizes into something truly significant. There are many situations shown that seem like to want to be very profound, but they don’t prove to be cohesive enough to amount to anything.

Jake becomes good friends with Naomi who has a son (Judah Lewis) who’s effeminate and asks Jake: “Do you think I’m gay?” Jake has a very supportive father in law (Chris Cooper) who eventually gets fed up with him because he has become so destructive. We know the film is about grief, guilt and being alienated, but with a wrecking ball of a character like this, who doesn’t come out like a real person, who cares? At one point, we felt we’ve had enough of the senseless demolition going on and cannot take it anymore, so we walked out.

Wonder why Jake keeps on doing movies like this where he plays lackluster characters, like “Zodiac”, “Prisoners”, even “Source Code” and “Nightcrawler”. His best performance for us remains to be “Love and Other Drugs” with Anne Hathaway. Too bad it was ignored by the public. And “Demolition” will also surely be ignored, as ordinary people like us will not and can never relate to Jake’s nihilistic character in it.