Wednesday, 11 February 2015

REVIEW - THE JUDGE (DAVID DOBKIN)


A shame that films like The Judge exist at all. They don't even serve to demonstrate the difference between the good and the bad in film, since I believe we are perceptive enough to recognise one even in the absence of the other, by and large. They serve to reinforce inaccurate notions of 'classic' cinema, particularly classic American cinema, and in so doing pervert both the audience's preconception of Hollywood filmmaking and their appreciation of what actually is good in film. The more of this we get force-fed, the sicker we'll become. The more casual, offensive stereotyping, with women shoehorned so stringently into sexpot moulds that the film implies that sex with one's niece is acceptable since it's better than sex with one's daughter, with ethnic characters either drawn to conform to rigorous racial standards as callously constructed by the steak-eating white American male or drawn out of the picture entirely, the less tolerant and less inclusive the film industry will become. The more vapid the narrative, the more predictable its twists, the more pandering its themes, its nauseating patriarchal worship, the lazier both writers and viewers will become. The more basic the direction, the more pointlessly polished the mise-en-scene, the more sickly the musical score, the less that film will be able to validate itself as an art form. The more homophobic digs, the more ogling of women, the more overblown, unearned sentimentality, the more learning-impaired characters used as quaint running gags, the more middlebrow pop used in soundtracks, the more disregard displayed for artistry or subtlety or ingenuity or intellect, the more Robert Downey Jr., the less I'll want to see. A shame that films like The Judge exist at all. The more they do, the faster film dies.