Title – Demolition (2015)
Director – Jean-Marc Vallée (Dallas Buyers Club)
Cast – Jake Gyllenhaal, Naomi Watts, Chris Cooper, Judah Lewis
Plot – After the death of his wife, investment banker Davis (Gyllenhaal) finds his life turned upside down as realisations about his marriage are made and new friendships are formed with customer service officer Karen (Watts) and her troubled teenage son Chris (Lewis) as well as Davis’s new found love of demolition work.
“Man loses his wife, he’s a widower. Child loses a parent, they’re an orphan. But losing a child… there is no word for this.”
Review by Eddie on 19/12/2016
Well it had to come to an end eventually.
After an incredible collection of films since 2012 that include the likes of End of Watch, Prisoners, Enemy, Nightcrawler and the not as amazing Everest and Southpaw (that still feature fantastic individual performances), Jake Gyllenhaal has demolished his golden run with Dallas Buyers Club and Wild director Jean-Marc Vallée’s unbelievable and misguided Demolition.
A film so overwrought, pretentious and just downright unlikeable, Demolition sees the two capable Hollywood players combine to create an utterly frustrating tale of love, life and regret that becomes all the more intolerable thanks to its odd sprinkling of gold that makes it quite clear this odd story of Gyllenhaal’s troubled Davis, going off the rails after the untimely death of his wife that he never truly loved and entering into a weird world of vending machine complaints and house demolishing, could’ve been something oddly unique and touching, yet comes off here as a cold and over-confident experience that’s terribly hard to like.
It’s through no fault of Gyllenhaal it must be said, who gives his stand-offish Davis his all but surrounded by a rather simple story that’s brought out in an over-complicated fashion by Vallée (who has perhaps gotten to assured of himself after the memorable Dallas Buyers Club and the forgettable Wild) who fails to connect us the audience to this strange world made all the harder to bare once Naomi Watt’s Karen and her troublemaking son Chris come onto the scene.
Once Karen and Chris become a part of Davis’s crumbling lifestyle, Demolition veers way too far from believability as Karen welcome’s Davis into her equally odd lifestyle and Davis becomes some strange father figure to Chris that includes such events as securing his help to bash down his expensive home or an extremely misguided scene where Davis gets Chris to shoot him out in the woods. You get a feeling for what Vallée is aiming for; it just doesn’t make the experience anymore engaging or satisfactory, despite the efforts of an experienced cast.
There’s little mystery as to why Demolition failed miserably to find an audience as it’s hard to understand what the audience were expected to get out of this seen before tale that’s been told before and told in a lot better fashion. A pretty looking failure that could’ve been something, Demolition is one for the wrecking yard.
1 DIY fridge repair job out of 5