Liked it a lot. Very Collateral.
I think that's my kind of action movie: a lot of very subdued, quiet moments, and then suddenly there's a flash of shocking, brutal violence. I guess it suits me because I like gritty, realistic styles, and that way of doing action just seems more...believable, maybe. That's the way that actual violent acts are like: a sudden tensing up, the violence, and then the shock of the aftermath. It's disorienting, and you have trouble processing time properly.
It's a real stylized movie. Sometimes, it's tough to tell if it's supposed to be set in the 80's, or if it's just the director's Euro sensibilities coming through. I saw Valhalla Rising (wasn't really a fan) so I wasn't surprised that the director opted to do most of his characterization through facial expression; there's not a lot of dialogue or exposition, which takes some getting used to. Refn makes a lot of good decisions that differ from a lot of the typical movie tropes, though. They add a lot of tension...I definitely felt my heartbeat increase a few times, and it was specifically because the movie wasn't doing a balls-to-the-wall action scene at the time. It works great.
Good acting from everybody in it except for Ron Perlman, who really doesn't belong in any movie, as far as I'm concerned. Gosling & Mulligan are great, Cranston is pretty good as the fatherly guy, and Albert Brooks is surprisingly effective as a villain who's got just enough humanity to be actually believable.
Compared to the standard action movie fare that's been out lately, this one really stood out.
Edited, Sep 24th 2011 1:54am by Eske