Macon Blair / Melanie Lynskey, Elijah Wood, David Yow / Thriller / 2017 / NO UK RATING / 96mins
Actor Macon Blair has been propelled into the limelight thanks to the underground hits Blue Ruin and Green Room and it seems he’s taking the opportunity to showcase his talents as he steps behind the camera with I don’t want to live in this world anymore.
‘Why is the world a horrible place?’ Asks socially awkward nurse Ruth (Melanie Lynskey). Why indeed, for this is the story all about how her life flipped up, turned upside down. A burglary sees her kickstart a vigilante spree with the help of equally introverted, martial arts-crazy neighbour Tony (Elijah Wood) but danger awaits the further down the proverbial rabbit hole they go.
The Sundance Festival breakout was quickly picked up by Netflix and rush released back in March. But unfortunately that’s where the hype ends. Idiocy has never seemed so detached from comedy. Trying to clean up the detrimental world around her, Ruth never realises she is part of the problem. I don’t want to live features this moronic humanity without the sentiment and it’s awkward – bad awkward.
Lynskey is solid. No complaints there. And Wood plays an elusive nerd rather well, but his character tropes never explain his lack of care toward his dog (who frequently poos on Ruth’s lawn). On top of this, both Ruth and Tony are basically the same character: that annoyingly quiet/awkward type. Borderline mumblecore isn’t quirky, and there’s no gender gameplay going on. Because they are one and the same, there’s no dynamic. Worst of all, I don’t think they’re relatable. Their oddball mishaps come off as disjointed.
The Three Stooges villainy of Marshall (Yow), Dez (Jane Levy) and Christian (Devon Graye) is wildly inconsistent. Their intentions remain inconclusive amidst their needless gore and violence, at once satanistic and drug-addled mad. There’s a lot that goes unanswered and the cult-ish undercurrent bugs me the most. Some rate I don’t want to live‘s strong sense of character. I’d argue there isn’t one. Frankly, this film should be titled I don’t care about the characters in this film world anymore.
Though don’t let this mediocre start fool you – the similarity in direction between Blair and buddy Jeremy Saulnier means there’s only better things to come. Blair allows the script to come to life and he paces the comedy to pepper the tension well – it’s very methodical.
I don’t want to live is a cutesy revenge thriller with a handful of twists and a satisfying ending. Coen Brothers lite for the masses to watch on a quiet Sunday afternoon.
Film as a Film – 2 / Target Audience – 3 / General Audience – 2
I don’t want to live in this world anymore. is available on Netflix
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By Source, fair use via Wikipedia.
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