A successful investment banker struggles after losing his wife in a tragic car crash. With the help of a customer service rep and her young son, he starts to rebuild, beginning with the demolition of the life he once knew.

Director: Jean Marc-Valee

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Naomi Watts, Chris Cooper, Judah Lewis, Heather Lind, C.J. Wilson, Polly Draper

Rated: R (language, some sexual references, drug use and disturbing behavior)



By Cole Schneider

Demolition is a bad script Charlie Kaufman turned in to his English teacher in 6th grade. He failed the assignment but proceeded to grow-up and write some of the best films of all-time. The film is a giant metaphor about metaphor. It’s about loneliness, grief, and despair but in the most shallow, lamentable, and inauthentic means possible.

Demolition is Adam Smith whining about the government not lending a hand after being laid-off from work. He runs for public office and institutes welfare. The film tries to be both funny and affecting. Not only does it achieve neither, it insults each by bashing its viewers over the head with monotonous manipulation.

Demolition is a counseling patient spending session after session listening to Pantera in his headphones at max volume. He gets neither the help he needs nor the catharsis he wants. The film presents a knowingly dissociated reality and accepts it. This (false) cleverness can’t sustain the (false) truth it expresses, thus it pushes away all points of identification for the viewer.

Demolition is a healthy post-modern painter puking on a canvas and calling it “Bulimia”. She couldn’t afford food after her vomit failed to sell. The film is both abstract and literal. Like director Jean-Marc Vallee’s previous films, Dallas Buyers Club and Wild, it’s blunt, messy, and loses all power of both figurative and straight communication.

Demolition is a terrible movie. That’s not a metaphor. Forget Kaufman’s lofty standards, I hope Vallee can pass 6th grade at some point because his ambitions are commendable. I can’t take another Dallas Buyer’s Club/Wild/Demolition.

2 out of 5 Stars


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