An intricately woven film featuring six separate (but loosely linked) tales taking place over six different times spanning many centuries, I struggle to name a mini-story that entranced or greatly entertained. I sure appreciated the effort and skill needed to piece together the story, but is the film more than the sum of its parts? Not really.
Jump-cutting back and forth across eras, there are recurring elements (a strange meteor birthmark) and recurring actors in differing garb and makeup – even gender. Consider for a moment in one scene Hugo Weaving the hitman doggedly pursues a couple down an alley, then cut to Hugo Weaving the female the hospital orderly getting bashed in a pub.
With so many characters, time periods and stories, I needed something to take charge. A fulcrum. Something identifiable to follow and care about. I could find nothing, like a ten piece rock band where everyone is the bass player; it’s competent but drab.
Elsewhere they are moments of great and sudden violence and Tom Hanks drops the C-bomb, but aside from the obvious effort put into crafting such an epic, I can think of nothing to recommend, which I think is why the film tanked so spectacularly in the box office. No-one was willing to invest $20 and three hours into an earnest effort.
Put more simply; My appreciation for the film would no doubt increase with another viewing, but I can’t – and wont – commit 180 more minutes for a lengthy but ultimately middling saga…
Final Rating – 6.5 / 10. Yes a cop-out 6.5. An expensive exercise in makeup and costume. A confusing compendium of competence.