17 September 2015 | rddj05
Really Well-Made Film. Not for the Fast n' Furious Crowd
Once again, Chandor gives us a well-written, well-acted, beautifully photographed film, on a relatively small budget, that winds up being incredibly watchable. I would say he's done this with all 3 of his films. None of them were action-packed film, but that all had a truth and reality to them, that really pulled me in.
I've read some reviews on here that complain that the film was too slow for them or that it was "boring." Look, despite it's title (which may have mislead a lot of viewers going in), this film is not for the Fast and Furious or Transformers crowd. It's not even for people who loved the blood-soaked Scarface.
It portrays violence and the fear of running a business in NYC in the early 80s, in a very real way. And it captures the early 80s look flawlessly.
This film may, however, be be for people who loved films like The Godfather or DePalma's Dressed to Kill. Not only does Oscar Issac seem to channel bits of Michael Corleone, but the film is lit and photographed in a very similar manner to the way that Gordon Willis shot The Godfather. Also, for those who think there was a ton of action and killing in the Godfather, outside of the final few minutes, there really isn't. Though very different films, what pulls you into the Godfather and Dressed to Kill is similar to what pulls you in here. Tension, honesty, a simple story, well told. No BS. No shooting up a whole town, with dead bodies falling everywhere, and then cutting to the next scene at dinner.
In real life, violence is frightening, finding a gun is frightening, shooting a gun at someone is frightening, having your life savings at stake, and the fear of losing everything you've worked for is frightening. Chandor pulls this all together to build tension, and it results in a very satisfying film.