In Search of a Good Thriller

One that I can believe in ūüėČ

I broke down and bought Limitless¬†and The Adjustment Bureau¬†from the African down at the car wash. ¬†Okay, don’t judge me. Now that the Magic Johnson Theatres ¬†are closed, I am forced to resort to drastic action. Nothing beats the audience participation at Baldwin Hills and the free parking definitely takes the edge off of a bad movie going experience.

But I digress.

These movies made me  wonder if we are, in fact, witnessing the end of Hollywood and the decline of American civilization.

Bradley Cooper is a charming but somehow weightless actor. His intelligence doesn’t ground this performance. It merely points out what a 4th grade D.A.R.E. alum could have told you. Drugs might give you some temporary advantages – sexual prowess, boundless creativity, keen insight – ¬†but those advantages aren’t real. Say what?! Blackouts I say. ¬†Then there’s the crash and burn after the high. ¬†The worst thing of all is that you’ll prove your mom right and start hanging with the bad company that will corrupt your good morals.

Mercifully it doesn’t hit the 2 hour mark.

Directing note: Robert de Niro is a brilliant actor. If you don’t watch him, he will phone it in. Don’t let this great artist undermine his own legacy. Step up. Don’t be intimidated. Provide some actual direction.

The Adjustment Bureau could have been great. Wonderful actors. And the performance between Matt Damon and Emily Blunt makes you long for real adult romance – not the adolescent kiddie porn variety. Alas sentimentality and a reliance on hat wear instead of rigorous plotting crushed my hopes. Even Hitchcock knew better than to leave a sense of a completely trouble-free happy ending. His heyday was in the 1930s-50s people! Still it’s always nice to see some appealing diversity in the presence of talented actor Anthony Mackie as opposed to the sleazy implications of Bradley Cooper’s slumming in an uptown bar.

All I’m asking for is one, kick ass thriller that makes me run away from the car wash to see a movie on the big screen the way movies were meant to be seen, dad gum it.

Or at least a cool academic study that explains why our society can’t produce one.

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About liftingasweclimb

Mildred Lewis writes and directs for theater, television, film and the web. She's also a full time professor, Christian, activist and troublemaker with a passion to save as much of the world as she can.
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