Midway through "The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman," there’s a scene in which one of the characters is hit by a car. As he lays injured in the street, a little person and dog stare at him.
Does it mean anything? No. Is it an interesting visual? Yes.
Is it indicative of just how self-indulgent director Fredrik Bond’s film is? Absolutely.
"Necessary Death" is sort of a cross between a Guy Ritchie movie and "Twin Peaks." It’s horrifically violent, bloody, loud, confusing, bordering on soft-core porn and completely full of itself. It’s nowhere near as original as it wants to be.
Hey, every crummy TV series employs the central conceit of the movie - it started at the end and then flashed back to the beginning.
Shia LaBeouf, out to prove he’s a Real Live Actor, stars in the title role. We don’t really know anything about Charlie except that his mother dies, and then she tells him to go to Bucharest. (Yes, in that order.)
He meets a girl (Evan Rachel Wood) and gets in trouble. And more trouble. And more trouble. He gets beat up. A lot.
Eventually, the plot makes sense. For the most part. But for much of the film, the audience has no more idea what’s going on than Charlie does. And it’s very, very confusing. And the scenes in which Charlie is high on ecstasy are no less lucid than the rest of it.
Certainly, there are some great images in the film. And tremendous action scenes. And there’s something to be said for making a movie to please yourself.
However, the self-indulgence overwhelms the characters. The love story fights with the thriller. The need to prove it’s art undermines the plot.
At least Bucharest looks cool.
Scott D. Pierce
|1.||A first: GOP lawmaker calls for Utah A.G. John Swallow to resign|
|2.||Burt Bacharach opens up on daughter’s suicide|
|4.||Police tracked Josh Powell by plane, wiretapped his phone|
|5.||Weekend Express: 11 things to do in Utah on Memorial Day weekend|
|6.||Tuacahn gears up for three outdoor plays, one indoor production|
|7.||Review: Utah Symphony delivers a vibrant closing performance|
|8.||Secret recording: Mark Shurtleff offers $2 million to silence critic|
|9.||Hiding the truth from a 5-year-old|
|10.||Planes, trains and orangutans: 12 distinctly Utah things to do this summer|