Runtime: 98 Mins
What To Expect: A movie like Coriolanus, where the whole thing might as well be in Greek, with college campus ‘stylization’
There are going to be some upset people when they stumble upon this movie. It is wall to wall gibberish dressed up as a stylistic interpretation of Shakespeare. Let me first say that I don’t give a damn about Shakespeare, or any of the nonsense that he wrote. To me his works were, and are, highfalutin horse shit, put to paper by a man who was most likely heavily shitfaced. This modern take on the play ‘Cymbeline’ stars Ethan Hawke, Ed Harris, John Leguizamo and Milla Jovovich.
Cymbeline, just to get this out of the way, tells the story of a princess named Imogen, who gets secretly married to a man in her father’s court. Meanwhile, there is strife between her father, King Cymbeline, and Caesar Augustus. If you’ve ever read anything by Shakespeare, the dialogue is like something that came out of a bad Google Translate job. And this is the problem here, the main problem anyway, the entirety of this movie uses Shakespeare’s dialogue word for word. Making 80% of the movie incomprehensible. He said what now? Wha? Who? And don’t give me this shit about dumb people not getting it. I guarantee you 95% of all people, and 99% of the people watching this movie, won’t know what the fuck who is talking about, or why. You can be as witty as the next person and not care about Shakespeare or his overrated sap.
It’s a gimmick and one that isn’t really outlined to potential viewers. A gimmick and nothing more. The hook – Ed Harris and Ethan Hawke in a thriller about corrupt cops and bikers, is there to lure unsuspecting viewers into a frustrating ambush. But that’s not the only problem. If you’re one of these pseudo intellectuals who thinks he’s a step above everyone else by digging Shakespeare, even you must concede that this movie is shit. Here’s something worth mentioning. The gratuitous slow-mo shot, the calling card of a shit film maker, is in this movie literally from the first few seconds. Slow-mo for a man turning his head. Slow-mo for a man walking up some steps. The intro itself, with its pulpy European dance theme, is like something edited in Windows Movie Maker.
I might also add and reiterate, this is a romantic movie, with a Dawson’s Creek style rendezvous between two supermodels cast probably not on the grounds of their acting capability. Even the great Ed Harris looks a bit woozy trying to recite this dialogue, probably compounded by his realization that the whole project sucks. It’s like Ralph Fiennes’ Coriolanus, another Shakespeare riff, where everyone tried to act real arsty by quoting the archaic dialogue directly. Actually, I watched that movie drunk and thought the whole thing was hilarious, you should try it sometime.