Reviews - Specialty Releases


Film Review: Generation Um...

A single, plotless day in New York in the company of Keanu Reeves feels like a life sentence.

May 3, 2013

-By David Noh


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1376588-Generation_Um_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

The ultimate Lonely Guy in the Big City, John (Keanu Reeves) works as a
chauffeur to call girls Violet (Bohana Novakovic) and Mia (Adelaide Clemens). When not doing this, he does, well, nothing much. He wanders about New York, engages with no one, and broods about another birthday signaling his descent into—horrors!—middle age. He does, however, summon up the energy to steal a video camera during a flash-mob hula-hoop session (yes, I know), which seems incredibly out of character, but that provides the main action in this 97 minute-long ode to anomie.

Oh, Keanu, Keanu—what are we going to do with you? You’ve been adrift ever since you last Matrixed and now, approaching 50, is this the best you can do? You were such a comely lad, with your exotic part-Hawaiian looks and name when you started, the ultimate adorable Valley Boy in your breakout River’s Edge, those Bill & Ted films and camp classic Point Break. Stephen Frears let you go all Rococo in Dangerous Liaisons and you even did Shakespeare in Much Ado About Nothing.

But you have simply refused to grow up—or maybe you just can’t. (I, for one, would have nervously trembled under your “doctor’s” scalpel in Something’s Gotta Give.) And now, here you are in Generation Um…, perhaps facing this very dilemma onscreen in a work that might have trenchantly expressed some innate truths. But, to paraphrase Gertrude Stein, there still doesn’t seem to be any there there.

Given the prospect of a largely unscripted, meandering flaneur-a-thon throughout Manhattan featuring one actor, I would maybe go with someone like Paul Giamatti or Philip Seymour Hoffman. These guys seem interesting and smart in their own right and have serious improvisational skills and innate humor to perhaps carry it off. But you, Keanu, merely bring new mumble to mumblecore, and that is perhaps your greatest achievement, as well as the willful goal of your obviously star-besotted, audience-indifferent, debuting director/writer Mark L. Mann. The music is credited to Fall on Your Sword, which is exactly what anyone watching this might want to do.


Film Review: Generation Um...

A single, plotless day in New York in the company of Keanu Reeves feels like a life sentence.

May 3, 2013

-By David Noh


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1376588-Generation_Um_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

The ultimate Lonely Guy in the Big City, John (Keanu Reeves) works as a
chauffeur to call girls Violet (Bohana Novakovic) and Mia (Adelaide Clemens). When not doing this, he does, well, nothing much. He wanders about New York, engages with no one, and broods about another birthday signaling his descent into—horrors!—middle age. He does, however, summon up the energy to steal a video camera during a flash-mob hula-hoop session (yes, I know), which seems incredibly out of character, but that provides the main action in this 97 minute-long ode to anomie.

Oh, Keanu, Keanu—what are we going to do with you? You’ve been adrift ever since you last Matrixed and now, approaching 50, is this the best you can do? You were such a comely lad, with your exotic part-Hawaiian looks and name when you started, the ultimate adorable Valley Boy in your breakout River’s Edge, those Bill & Ted films and camp classic Point Break. Stephen Frears let you go all Rococo in Dangerous Liaisons and you even did Shakespeare in Much Ado About Nothing.

But you have simply refused to grow up—or maybe you just can’t. (I, for one, would have nervously trembled under your “doctor’s” scalpel in Something’s Gotta Give.) And now, here you are in Generation Um…, perhaps facing this very dilemma onscreen in a work that might have trenchantly expressed some innate truths. But, to paraphrase Gertrude Stein, there still doesn’t seem to be any there there.

Given the prospect of a largely unscripted, meandering flaneur-a-thon throughout Manhattan featuring one actor, I would maybe go with someone like Paul Giamatti or Philip Seymour Hoffman. These guys seem interesting and smart in their own right and have serious improvisational skills and innate humor to perhaps carry it off. But you, Keanu, merely bring new mumble to mumblecore, and that is perhaps your greatest achievement, as well as the willful goal of your obviously star-besotted, audience-indifferent, debuting director/writer Mark L. Mann. The music is credited to Fall on Your Sword, which is exactly what anyone watching this might want to do.
Post a Comment
Asterisk (*) is a required field.
* Author: 
Rate This Article: (1=Bad, 5=Perfect)

*Comment:
 

More Specialty Releases

Laggies
Film Review: Laggies

Disappointing comedic entry about a late-20s slacker who won’t grow up is writer/filmmaker Lynn Shelton’s first outing directing someone else’s material. Points here for strong cast and an occasional chuckle, but otherwise there’s just no point. More »

Rudderless
Film Review: Rudderless

Well-done indie drama about a lost-soul house painter reborn through rock ’n’ roll is a nice actor’s showcase for star Billy Crudup and an impressive directorial debut for actor William H. Macy. But in spite of some good work onscreen, both hero and story lack the edge and originality to carry this drama beyond respectability. More »

Camp X-Ray
Film Review: Camp X-Ray

Army guard and Guantanamo detainee form a grudging relationship in a thoughtful but far-fetched drama. More »

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
Film Review: The Tale of The Princess Kaguya

As charming as it is delicate, this unusually low-key, if a tad overlong, animated feature brings yet more prestige to the famed Ghibli output. More »

ADVERTISEMENT



REVIEWS

Fury Review
Film Review: Fury

American tanks fight superior German forces in the closing days of World War II. More »

Birdman
Film Review: Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Virtuosic camerawork and a stellar ensemble of actors more than make up for the occasional moment of portentous twaddle in Alejandro G. Iñárritu's latest—and maybe his best—film. More »

Player for the Film Journal International website.


ADVERTISEMENT



INDUSTRY GUIDES

» Blue Sheets
FJI's guide to upcoming movie releases, including films in production and development. Check back weekly for the latest additions.

» Distribution Guide
» Equipment Guide
» Exhibition Guide

ORDER A PRINT SUBSCRIPTION

Film Journal International

Subscribe to the monthly print edition of Film Journal International and get the full visual impact of this valuable resource for the cinema business.

» Click Here

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Learn how to promote your company at the Film Expo Group events: ShowEast, CineEurope, and CineAsia.

» Click Here