Friday, March 27, 2015

Review: Nightcrawler

Having faced a barrage of B-grade genre movies for so many years, this Basement critic decided to take a breather and step into more . . . refined . . . entertainment. The first dance was with Gone Girl. The second is all about one sociopath's pursuit of the American dream. It's called Nightcrawler. How's it? Stick with me!

When Lou Bloom, a driven man desperate for work, muscles into the world of L.A. crime journalism,  he blurs the line between observer and participant.

I'm going to come right out an say it, Nightcrawler is a full-throttle blast. No, it's not the kind of flick you watch on a regular basis, and Bloom is a somewhat despicable character, but it's still worth the ride. Big time.

For one, as despicable as Bloom is, I found myself rooting for the bastard. He knows what he wants in life, and he goes after it. Sure, he achieves his dreams the wrong way, but the character is such a commentary on the Internet generation and our fixation with the fame and success, that one can't help but be captivated by his journey. And Jake Gyllenhaal is so cast against type that it plays in the character's favour.

Speaking of Gyllenhaal, between this and Prisoners, the man has proven he has serious acting chops. Big time! Keep taking chances, Jake!

As someone who lived in the world of crime journalism for eight years, it was nice to dip my toe back in the water without getting wet. Writer/director Dan Gilroy brings the somewhat seedy job to life in a gritty and realistic way. And he has a few things to say about the if-it-bleed-it-leads mentality that grips media in general. It's rare when I catch a flick that says something, so I latched onto that.

There's never a dull moment in Nightcrawler. And it was great to see genre vets Bill Paxton and Rene Russo get some love. This isn't a movie for everyone, and a lot of people won't like its cynical and gritty attitude, but I sure did. It's Good.

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