A film where the bad guys are evil gentrifiers, and the taciturn hero has made some bad life decisions that he’s trying to put right. A film that addresses ageing and regret. What’s not to like?
Well, here goes. I was reminded of a chat I had last year with my dad, who’s read novels all his life. He said that as he gets older he increasingly finds himself asking “Why are you lying to me? That never happened” and is wondering whether there’s any point at all in reading fiction.
Now that is somewhat extreme, but when i was watching Atlas I never felt sufficient interest in the characters to really bother about what happened to them. And much of what did happen felt more like what someone would write in a script than would actually happen in real life (it may be significant that this is the debut film by someone who previously wrote for the telly)
So you have these scenes where people benignly get into cars and only then ask where they’re going. Or they admit to someone that they grasses them up to the police, get a glass to the head and then everything’s all happy again. Until it isn’t.
This sort of thing is fine in terms of plot and stuff, but only if the audience is already committed to going along with you.
It’s not a bad film, and it’s got some good acting it. It was reminiscent of the sort of 1980s film where Bob Hoskins or Ray winstone would look at their life falling apart and unsuccessfully try to stem the tide. In short, it was ok. But it was pretty much instantaneously forgettable