Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The Machinist (2004)


Okay, so Scott Kosar totally can't write. And Brad Anderson totally can't direct. So when the two of them team up, you get the biggest wasted opportunity I've seen in some time, a dull psycho-thriller overladen with portentious symbols and secondhand Fincherisms. It's a shame, too, because the basic idea is sound -- a man's agonized psychological guilt over an inadvertant murder externalized through the flesh. The guilt eats him alive inside and outside. It's an excellent concept, and it's well-played by a game Christian Bale. But the filmmakers are too busy trying to be coy and playing their little games to confront the subject matter head on. Do this straight, with no big revelations and no attempts at mindfuckery, and you've probably got one hell of a film. As it stands, I just have to shake my head and think that it's a goddamn waste that Bale starved himself for this rubbish. He, apparently, was the only one who committed to the project wholeheartedly.

Grade: C


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