To be fair, when it took me three sittings to finally get through that five minute Cloud Atlas trailer I knew we were in trouble – suspecting that like their previous lackluster, Speed Racer, the Wachowski Siblings again blew another astronomical budget ($102 million!) in hopes to recapture their critical standing from the revolutionary sci-fi The Matrix even though a decade has passed since. This time around with three directors (Tom Tykwer) and an overly ambitious script based on the much lauded novel that pundits said was unfilmable and I’d argue unreadable too.
With that in mind I thought I was completely prepared for this catastrophe but was only further disappointed when it was not the multiple story lines of pasts and futures, or it’s re-occurring cast that I had initially feared would leave me disoriented in a sticky stuffy theater – but instead the perpetual, mundane reincarnations in Dullsville left me worrying my weekend would be over before the movie. Thankfully I don’t believe in that past life jumbo because I’d hate to sit through this again.
Three hours exhausted on six interlaced plots unfolding in a barrage of non-linear cuts that span over 500 years, planets and terrains, these fruitless tales of love and the quest for freedom of young and old, crusty punks, Amish tongues, gay lovers, asian persuasions, and a stowaway slave all get lost and muddled together and as far as I can tell only linked by a fucking birthmark in the shape of a comet. And even though all were charged with a chase and showdown I honestly didn’t give a fuck what happened to anyone since they’re all going to relive their life somewhere else anyway…except for maybe that Green Dude. He was scary.
Hopefully the Wachowski’s will reinvent instead of resexing themselves after this debacle because the “true-true” is they know how to shoot movies but their highfalutin notions and gimmicky ways, like Tom Hanks performance, get in the way to making coherent works of art with some Kung Fu fighting. But at least it’s better than Seven Psychopaths. Then again, even afterbirth is better than that shit.