2.5/10 “Climax” feels like an upper tier film school student’s senior project that looks nice but has no substance to it. This movie is the definition of style over substance. It is very experimental but once the movie ends, I can confidently say that the experiment was a failure. Thankfully the movie is just over an hour and a half so at least one thing the movie has going for it is that it doesn’t overstay its welcome (although two scenes come to mind that could have been trimmed slightly). The absolute best thing I can say about this movie is its cinematography. There are several long tracking shots with all of this dance choreography mixed in and it is extremely impressive in terms of the camera movement and the actors/dancers performing with no one messing up. I wonder how many takes it took to do some of these tracking shots. The performers (whom are mostly professional dancers) not only crush the dancing aspect that this movie requires but they get the job done on the acting front as well. No one is winning an Oscar for acting, but for a cast of non-actors, they did well. The soundtrack also has some really cool beats to put you in the right mental zone for the movie. That is where the positives end. This movie is basically about a group of dancers whose sangria gets spiked with LSD and we spend a full hour watching these people have bad trips and turn on each other. The cinematography does a great job of making you feel the LSD trip as madness descends but without these visuals, the movie is so empty. There is little to no character development, most of the characters are really awful people so we only have a couple people we care about and the rest we either don’t know well enough or despise. Director Gaspar Noe puts the ending credits at the beginning of the film and then plays the credits two more times within the first 45 minutes, which was completely unnecessary and out of the blue. He also tries to sprinkle in some quotes on the screen that he wrote, which are just one line sayings that come off as completely pretentious and a waste of time. For a movie called “Climax”, there really isn’t one. There is some tension building as the LSD kicks in and we see a lot of disturbing things (this movie is not for the faint of heart) but then it hits that level of madness and stays there. The ending is just the morning after and devoid of a true climax. There are shades of the excellent and equally disturbing Darren Aronofsky film “mother!” in the sense that we follow characters around as chaos builds, except “mother!” had a climax, developed characters and an actual interesting story with something to say. This feels like Gaspar Noe watched that and wanted to make his own shallow version of “mother!” and this final result comes out to be a soundtrack that is much better than the movie. Avoid this movie like you would avoid drinking LSD spiked sangria.
#DanceDanceConvolution / #LSDMinusGrade / #ShallWeTrance / #PerformanceEnhancingDrugs / #CutADrug / #NeedsImgroovement