Another Monday, another chance to watch a film on my own. In theory I get to choose exactly what I want to watch; in practice that means choosing something the Textiliste would never want to see, which isn’t quite the same thing.
So I chose the latest Scarlett Johannson vehicle. I don’t think she’s choosing as well as her star status might suggest. Either that or she likes skin tight cat suits, what with Black Widow and super intelligence. The days of Lost in Translation are long gone. She’s about as Indie as my wardrobe. It’s whimsy, wallop and where’s the wad I’m afraid.
Billed as the new Blade Runner, it is more of the cartoon from which it comes – one of those weird-eyed animés so loved of pasty teenagers and creepy pippilongstocking stalkers – than the confidence shattering dystopian mindfuckery that that original Balde Runner was.
There’s been criticism that casting her and the other main peeps and not Japanese actors was racist. There’s only one Japanese actor in a main role even though the setting is clearly a futuristic Japanese city so there’s some force in this. But given the thinnesss of the plot why worry too much? She’s not exactly stretched by this part and she’s unlikely to get an award.
Did I mention the plot? Don’t worry I won’t ruin it, there really wasn’t much of one to ruin. She’s a sort of AI with a human brain – there’s a mad doctor who sees the light, an all out baddy running a big corporation, a terrotist baddy who’s not really and a lot of Scarlett running and kicking in her shell that looks like she’s starkers only she’s not and if she was they’ve done something really weird with her nipples.
The good stuff? The city. It’s fascinating with its vertiginous holograms and crazy architecture. Every outdoor scene, be it one of the many car chases or the hunt for her real family in a sort of tumble-dryer-cum-down-at-heel-projects had me ignoring the action – well mostly, I mean she is an attractive woman – and trying to make sense of the city scape.
It’ll not challenge your intelligence and it just about doesn’t insult it either. It’ll never rival Blade Runner – the only director’s cut here might be the self harming sort – and it might have been better as a cartoon. If it had been I wouldn’t have gone for one thing.
And Scarlett, please ditch the Lycra. You’d look great in any wardrobe, even one from ikea and it would give back some credibility to your career if you played a character with at least a couple of dimensions.
PS For those more interested in the ice cream, I mistakenly picked up mango rather than salted caramel – the tubs are both a sort of scuffed suede colour. After the shock of the first mouthful it turned out to be really rather ace.