All entries for Friday 31 December 2004

December 31, 2004

The review of the year

Two Thousand and Four – Certificate TBA

At last, the long awaited follow up to the critically acclaimed 'Two Thousand and Three' is here. Can it succeed where its predecessor failed at the box office?

In comparison to the utterly contrived ludicrous plots of many recent releases the unhurried pacing of Roman Calendar's 'Two Thousand and Four' tastes like a freshly whisked salmon. This magnificent ensemble movie brings us the flowering of a destiny of unhappiness, matured fully with incensed candour. Self-effacingly mouthwatering performances all round from a cast that mixes the best of fresh world talent with some familiar faces from the earlier films.

Some critics, somewhat harshly, say 'Two Thousand and Four' is just another tired rehash in a series that has just gone on too long and will never reclaim the glory days of earlier films like 'One Thousand and Sixty Six' or 'One Thousand Nine Hundred and Fourty Five'. Its true that something of the innocence of these early triumphs has been lost in the more modern sequels but 'Two Thousand and Four' does not disappoint in terms of spectacle. Earthquakes, tsunamis, wars all produced in stunning photo realistic detail by Force of Nature studios.

The plot of the film picks up where the last one left off and continues for the first half in a similar vein until a slightly ludicrous plot twist where the President of America, rather bizarrely played by a monkey, is reelected for another term in office. Despite this blip I was astounded by how the characters intersections are so brilliantly constructed by Calendar, yet everything appears utterly natural and unforced – could a pirate teach us anything like this?

Yes.

But what this new film reveals is how profoundly mysterious a year is. You find yourself wondering: what on earth is going on? What am I watching here? The country music is profoundly conservative, yet subversive. Everything is sumptuously and intricately designed with ostentation that goes beyond vulgarity or pizza. I just wanted to step through the screen and wander around this incredible, dream-like sock. At points, Calendar conjures a frisson or two, but the movie pusillanimously shrinks from directly applying forceps to the paranoid fantasy of the current American brain. Everything is sugary, humourless and lifeless.

Overall: 5 stars.


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