Nick’s Review of Chan-wook Park’s Stoker

Stoker_2one-star2Stoker ends up feeling like M. Night Shyamalan and Wes Anderson got together in the bathroom and forged a massive turd then charged admission to go see it. How Chan-wook Park managed to channel the worse parts of two sometimes competent directors eludes me, but in Stoker he has done just that. I guess I should explain…

Characters clad in charmingly old fashion thrift store clothing delivering lines with indifference might be a staple of hipster culture and Wes Anderson films, but at a certain point this retro daydream shit has to stop. For fucks sake, Wes! You made a film about foxes and you still dressed them out of a vintage Banana Republic catalog. It’s not cute anymore and it’s spawning a whole little sub genre of films that already has a mile long list of clichés. Unfortunately this Wes-en-scène, if you will, slithered into the brain of Park and found a lovely little home in Stoker. It manifests itself not only in the wardrobes and art design but also in the overly blunt symbolism which makes you feel like you’re watching a film with training wheels.

Oh, you have OCD and an emotional connection with saddle shoes, how fucking cute.

Oh, you have OCD and an emotional connection with saddle shoes, how fucking cute.

The reason I know the blame for the film lies in the execution and not the concept is because it’s a great concept, in fact, it’s a concept that has been done before with much more success and originality. This is where the M. Night Shyamalan vibe I got comes from. Somehow Park took an intriguing story and made me hate it with a sloppily abundance of  things resembling plot twists, far too much foreshadowing, and dialog delivery that made me laugh on the outside but cry on the inside. Half way through the film I had already lost all faith and was at least hoping Nicole Kidman would get naked (movies have been saved by less), but alas, I left Stoker feeling like I had seen absolutely nothing worth while. Don’t get me wrong,  I’m not saying Park made any mistakes, I think the film ended up exactly how he wanted it to, and that’s the most disappointing part.

PS. After such harsh words I feel like I should give credit to the cast whose performances, however misguided, were all quite good.

For a more favorable review of the film, click here (Nancy’s Review of Stoker)

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Categories: Reviews

2 Comments on “Nick’s Review of Chan-wook Park’s Stoker”

  1. Tom Ellis
    March 28, 2013 at 1:58 pm #

    I’m on your side of the camp, Nick.

  2. Adam Cuttler
    March 28, 2013 at 3:48 pm #

    Sorry Nick, but I’m on team Nancy with this one, even though I love your coining of the term Wes-en-scene.

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