Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Comatose

Cosmopolis       WWW Score: 25%

You have to see Cosmopolis. Now before you race off to buy a ticket, what I'm about to recommend is off the record. I will never admit to having said it and will disavow any knowledge of it in totality: Sneak in the door after paying to see anything but Cosmopolis. If you pay even a single penny to watch the thing, you'll be making the most ill-advised purchase of your natural born life.

Let's add one exception to that, if you happen to have a limo fetish, Cosmopolis could prove to be the Holy Grail; 90% of the film takes place inside a white stretch edition that features an interior inspired by a '90s jukebox. Edward the vampire himself, Robert Pattinson, cruising around New York City, in search of a haircut (can't make this stuff up) at some point in the future. The year is never mentioned but mind-numbing chatter of foreign currency definitely is.

Pattinson - channeling Leo DiCaprio channeling Christopher Walken - is some sort of shadowy figure in charge of making financial transactions across the globe. From what I could glean from the muddled script, he's essentially a hedge fund manager's manager's manager. Unless you happen to work for CNBC, the regurgitated line readings about China's yuan are coma-inducing. And when talk of "a rat as the unit of currency" ramps up, pulling the plug will prove irresistible.

It's not just discussions about rats; it's the year of the rat. There are Chinese Lions fashioned in rat form, political activists toss dead rats in a restaurant; Cosmopolis is for the rats.

While making his odyssey to the barber, Pattinson gets an in-limo prostate exam, sleeps with hookers and discusses life's intricacies with his robot-like bride. Pattinson could pass for an android. It's a wooden acting performance featuring one of the worst New York accents ever attempted.

It's all brutally wearisome work from David Cronenberg, a return to Videodrome form after delivering infinitely more accessible gems like: A History of Violence and A Dangerous Method. Cronenberg's decision to adapt Don DeLillo's 2003 novel to the screen is condemnable.

One of Pattinson's hired help describes what Pattinson does as both "stupendous" and "awful". How about we simply combine those two and call Cosmopolis: "Stupendously awful". I should have taken a cue from the noted critic seated in front of me, who snoozed through the entire second half of the film. Can't wait to read his review. Lord help me if it's glowing.