Cloud Atlas  (2012)    59/100

Rating :   59/100                                                                     172 Min        15

This isn’t actually all that bad. It is way too long at just under three hours, in fact I’m pretty sure an entire hour could have been axed from it somewhere in the middle. Half way through I couldn’t wait for it to end, but come the end I was actually quite enjoying it. The best way to think of this film is traditional adventure storytelling done in a multi-layered way, with each layer a different story in space and time over Earth’s history but each featuring the same actors playing multiple parts, ultimately trying to make the point that our actions, every crime or kind deed as the film puts it, can have repercussions for evermore, and forwarding the belief that life is both transient and ever renewing.

It features an ensemble cast including Jim Broadbent, Tom Hanks, Halle Berry (why does she always get all the worst lines? Does she improv them?), Ben Whishaw, Jim Sturgess and Hugh Grant to name some of the most familiar faces, all often wearing prosthetics and sporting different accents, to varying degrees of success. It’s adapted from the Booker prize nominated novel by David Mitchell and directed by the Wachowski brothers (or perhaps siblings is more correct since one of them has undergone a sex change, they are joined by Tom Tykwer {‘Run Lola Run’} on director duties) of ‘The Matrix’ fame, and just as in that series Hugo Weaving makes a marked appearance as the bad guy/assassin in most of the stories, and he clearly relishes being able to do so.

The script needed to be reworked as it’s pretty consistently terrible, featuring cartloads of cheese and an evolved future language that sounds altogether like gibberish, something made all the worse by the actors mumbling it as they attempt to deliver it to us. Some nice shots of Edinburgh, as well as a Scottish bar fight gag at the expense of some supposed English patrons, which went a long way toward warming the audience to the film….


“You have to do what you can’t not do”   Halle Berry/Luisa Rey

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