HIGH-RISE (2016, Ben Wheatley)
Loud, obnoxious, and insanely boring, HIGH-RISE will give you whiplash by spinning so fast between two modes: shallow, dull inertness, and manic, overstuffed heavy-handedness. Neither of them are in any way interesting, intelligent, or entertaining. A brain-dead satire of Britain’s inability to provide its citizens with the opportunity for upward mobility (no shit?!), Wheatley’s sub-Gilliam atonal disaster has any number of howlingly silly bits worthy of a top-10 Embarrassing Moments list. Luke Evans’s entire performance belongs at the top, though one hilarious scene has Elisabeth Moss back-handed complimenting Tom Hiddleston — then 60 seconds later we see Hiddleston leaning against a wall reminiscing about the line (to which the audio track flashes back to what we just heard a minute ago). The editing seems to have been done by iTunes’s shuffle play rather than credited joiners Amy Jump and Wheatley (the writer and director, respectively), and there isn’t a single surprise in the narrative or how it plays out. It just lumbers from one insultingly obvious bloviation to the next. Case in point: in an early scene, Hiddleston accompanies a friend to the swimming pool wearing his suit and tie, and the woman remarks to him “You haven’t changed.” And he says “I don’t think I can.” Double meaning alert! Then later, he tells a cashier at the market “Keep the change” to which she replies “There isn’t any.” WHOA. Blew my mind.