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Directed by newcomer Hunter Richards, London is a complex tale of a man
scorned by a traumatic breakup. Jessica Biel plays the title character,
a savvy sophisticated woman who was the love of Syd's (Chris Evans)
life. Since she left him, he has become a complete wreck. He now spends
his days drinking and snorting cocaine. Six months later, he finds out
through a random phone call that London is moving to Los Angeles. The
worst part is that her friend Becca (Isla Fisher) is throwing a going
away party - one that he isn't invited to. Determined to get London
back, Syd decides to crash the party along with his unsuspecting dealer
Bateman (Jason Statham), a banker who sells drugs on the side. When
they get there, they eventually wind up in the bathroom. They snort
huge amounts of coke and talk about life and love as Syd attempts to
get up his nerve and talk to London. Along the way we are introduced to
a number of eccentric characters, such as feisty bartender Mallory (Joy
Bryant) and high-school student Maya (Kelli Garner). Each one plays a
part in Syd's tripped-out journey of self discovery.
Although it features a cast full of popular young stars, London is not an easy sell in the slightest.. Audiences aren't likely to respond due to its strange and offbeat plot. It reminds me a lot of 1999's Go in this regard, although it is considerably less mainstream. It is truly a character study of many different individuals, all of them reflecting on life as the events unfold before their eyes. It moves at a slow pace but is never boring thanks to excellent performances and stylish direction.
Chris Evans is on screen for almost every frame and delivers another excellent performance. He shows his dramatic chops here and exhibits an ability for both comedy and drama. His character is very complex and has many different layers, all of which are revealed throughout the course of the film. Jason Statham, well-known for his action roles, plays against type here as the straight laced businessman Bateman. He shows his talent in both comedy and drama, and also has great chemistry with Evans. Jessica Biel is radiant and fascinating as London, a woman longing for complete commitment in an otherwise stable relationship. She has strong chemistry with real-life boyfriend Evans and her character is believable and likable. Most of her scenes are flashback sequences, so it is interesting to watch her character progress.
The supporting cast is great for a film of this size. Joy Bryant is solid as Mallory and gets the most to do of the side characters. Kelli Garner makes an impression but isn't given a whole lot to do, maybe appearing for fifteen minutes total. Isla Fisher, who was hilarious in last year's Wedding Crashers, gives another strong comedic performance here as the naive and unsuspecting party host. The rest of the actors are fairly insignificant overall, with most being reduced to mere walk-on roles (such as comedian Dane Cook).
Richards writes and directs this project and shows great promise in his first outing. The direction is stylish and he finds many interesting takes to use - making the film easy to watch and helping it from dragging on. The screenplay is also solid. It seems like something originally written for the stage, but it works on film thanks to the way each scene is handled. While there are comedic elements, there are also several sweet and poignant scenes. The best scene in the film is the final confrontation between London and Syd in an airport. The Crystal Method provides the score for the film, a techno-fringed mixture of various beats that fits well with the tone of the film.
Overall, I can see why London isn't appreciated by critics and won't be embraced by audiences. It's a strange film that requires patience from the viewer due to its slow pace. But thanks to excellent performances and stylish direction, it turns out to be a completely fascinating and involving tale.
Hunter Richards' film about a young man(evans) who is desperate to win back his beautiful ex-girlfriend, London (Biel). The film isn't deep, but i found it extremely effective in showing a simple story. The performances were real, even Biel was good here as was Evans and Statham who truly stole the show. I liked the screenplay a lot and the direction suited the film as well. I liked the cinematography from Jo Willems and the music by The Crystal Method. The film is a great 2 million dollar film, low budget, high quality, they should make more films like this.--- very good film from hunter richardsIMDb Rating: 6.0, my rating: 9/10
As the synopsis shows London is a drug laden adventure which centres in a New York Loft where a young man is trying to win back his girlfriend. at first i thought. 'another cheesy movie'. i don't know what made me watch it but when i was finished i was absolutely GOBSMACKED!. 'London' is such an original and most importantly a very simple movie which is directed to its utmost perfection. Bateman (Jason Statham) is absolutely flawless in this movie as is Syd (Chris Evans). You begin to understand their characters straight away as both actors bring them to life wonderfully... i don't want to spoil the rest for you so ill finish on this note.. 'its a must see' ......
I was always a fan of Jason for his roles in Guy Ritchie's flicks and his roles in the transporter series (one not two). But when i watched this film i was in complete awe after i witnessed his performance in this film,it was so real and charismatic it was spectacular. watching the beginning of the film i found it entertaining and creative and stylish but it was a specific scene that completely sold me. It was a scene with Jason Statham and Chris Evans as the two are in a bathroom( which they are in for quite some time) and the movie is an hour and ten minutes in when Jason Staham compares his pain with Chris Evans,Statham's acting in that scene will forever change the way i see Jason Statham from now on. The film was directed with style and beauty. Many scenes in this film is the opposite of beauty but the way they are put on camera is done so beautifully. In conclusion I urge people to see this film even if the story does not sound appealing please watch it for Jason Statham's magnificent role in the film. Although Jason was not the only great actor in the film, Chris Evans also played very realistically as well the whole cast overall, Also watch for Dane Cook as George or the guy that talks to London at the party.
I've been reading a lot of very negative reviews posted here about
"London" in the past couple of hours. Most of the reviewers complain
about rich yuppie kids with no jobs snorting coke and bitching to their
therapists. Yes, this is what goes on in the background for 2/3 of the
However, even though bitchy, rich yuppies are not likable characters, the movie portrays them very accurately. Having spent some time with "these people", I felt the movie was incredibly honest and dealt with pertinent issues. Maybe not pertinent to you in particular, but pertinent to these types of people in this age group.
The acting is really superb. Chris Evans strips down his likable "flaming" side to become an annoying, ego-maniacal prick. Stratham gives a powerful performance, which for some reason screams of Bruce Willis's "finer" work. Biel is the weakest of the main actors, mostly due to the script edging her out of most of the movie. All the actors are right on the money with their characters. Within 10 minutes you start to feel like you've known them for years.
But beyond the drugs, beyond the obnoxious mannerisms, lies a story of a real relationship. By way of flashbacks, but we are given some great insights into how the relationship worked, and how it fell apart. The characters screwed it up, and its amazing watching Syd (Evans) re-live both his best and worst memories. That is the most essential and successful part of the film.
What is wrong with me that I know people exactly like this?! This is a spot-on unflinching portrayal of the New York "downtown" people involved with cocaine, the decisions they make, the people they interact with, and the way they act and spend an average day. Honest and unapologetic, if still funny, and entertaining. It shows EXACTLY what people's lives and personalities become when on coke. Chris Evans plays Syd, the rarely likable but engrossing(so brilliantly,it scares me-pay attention to the first scene, and in particular the bathroom scene)coked out, lovelorn, post adolescent, pining away for London (an uninspiring Jessica Biel)his recent ex. Jason Statham plays Bateman (who steals every scene he's in), the hilarious "part-time dealer" who goes along for the ride, as Syd decides to crash a loft party in order to win back his ex. Antics ensue, and the journey is satisfying, if embarrassing or painful to watch at times. Great script, amazing soundtrack, and dead-on stylistically. Worth a view
Surprisingly, for the type of dialog driven movie that this was it was
pretty good. I think it was mainly a movie about the human psyche and
how it can screw with people hardcore sometimes and screw up good
things (relationships). This is also very accurate in portraying how
someone with anxiety might feel and act after a very hard breakup. Not
everyone will be able to relate to the guys actions here or may think
it is because he's a druggie, but I think this movie is more about
anxiety. When he is seemingly going nuts (around the time talking to
the shrink)it was very realistic of the helpless feeling someone with
panic attacks will have.
Almost every conversation, mood and situation in this movie I can relate to, and have been in before. I've had the same conversation with a few ex girlfriends when they were trying to push religion on me. So I don't think the dialog was trying to be too pretentious or philosophical at all. It was just portraying the stupid things people argue about that someone may have been very caught up in during the passion of the moment, but then thinking back to them they seem very stupid to fight about.
Good movie that makes you think a little bit...or reminisce, one of
those. It's not too funny not too serious, not a chic flick, and not a
total drug/sex movie...I liked it! It had a good balance and a meaning
behind it. If someone lays out for you what the movie was it sounds
kind of bland...it's basically a guy still in love with his girl and he
wants her back even after they've been apart for awhile and he does
coke...sounds lame, doesn't it? But seriously, the conversations in
this movie are wild and definitely make you think, and there are some
funny parts too, and...maybe some gross ones lol. See for yourself. A
hot and talented cast with a good setting and awesome camera
techniques, really loved the flow of the shots.
"You can't blame people for being the way they are, only yourself for expecting something else from them..you can change yourself for two reasons.. either you learn enough that u want to or you've been hurt enough that you have to..either way, you make mistakes, you try to learn from them...and when you don't...it hurts even more."
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
London Written and Directed by Hunter Richards Starring Chris Evans,
Jason Statham, Jessica Biel, Joy Bryant, and Kelli Garner Rated R for
strong sexual content, pervasive language and drug use, and some
Rating: 2/5 Plot: Two months after getting dumped by a woman named London (Biel), drugged out Syd (Evans) is informed by a phone call that his ex is having a going away party that night and will be leaving town the next day. Enraged and agitated, Syd decides to crash the party and make one final attempt to salvage his relationship with London. Along the way, he picks up Bateman (Statham), a coke-dealing white collar professional who Syd cajoles into accompanying him to the party. Once they arrive, they shack up in an opulent bathroom where they snort massive amounts of smack, debate the existence of God with a pair of passing party-goers, and boorishly compare notes on who has endured greater pain and suffering. Will Syd snap out of his drug-induced haze long enough to speak his peace with London? Is there anything left to reconcile, or can he at least pull himself together enough to move on with his life?
Criticism: The biggest problem with this film is that it's seldom as insightful as it wants to be or thinks it is. Syd and Bateman are not particularly interesting or compelling characters, despite their emotional issues and drug abuse. Their "intellectual" discussions are shallow and trite and flat. They are both so caught up in their insecurities and belligerence that they are incapable of genuinely seeing or feeling for anyone else. The filmmaker is well aware of this, as shown by the use of tag names (acid casualty Syd Barrett of Pink Floyd infamy and Bateman the soulless corporate killer from American Psycho). But the filmmaker refuses to acknowledge that his creations are pathetic and empty. He presents their hollow observations and meaningless chatter as if it were genuine insight. This makes what happens in the last 20 minutes entirely ludicrous, as the film veers suddenly into conventional romantic drama territory that cannot be justified on the basis of what has come before.
Prescriptive Analysis: (spoilers galore) One of the few dead-on moments in the film is in a flashback where London tells Syd that his philosophical discussions are little more than bullying designed to raise himself up by tearing everything else down. The film needs to do more to play up that angle. But first, the Syd character has to be shown as having a little more potential that what is demonstrated here. His "intellectual" repartee needs serious punching up. There are plenty of clever cynics/nihilists to use as models. What he's saying needs to sound attractive and interesting on the surface, so that it can come as a revelation when it's revealed later on in the film as hollow and manipulative self-absorption. Likewise, the numerous flashbacks to his memories of the relationship need to show moments of beauty and understanding and not just the distrust and macho posturing shown here. We need to see that this relationship was something special and we need to feel a sense of tragedy at its loss. We need to see its flaws, especially his flaws which the audience should see even if he doesn't necessarily, at least at the beginning. But we also need to see the beauty when it's not totally swallowed up by the ugliness.
Then there's the issue of those last 20 minutes. Syd and Bateman go downstairs, get into a massive brawl with the party's hosts...and then not only does London leave with Syd, but, after a "deeply meaningful" conversation in which nothing actually deep or meaningful is said or shown, she actually goes to bed with him before catching her plane in the morning. And throughout all this Syd comes across as remarkably together for a man who has indulged in an epically massive cocaine binge.
OK, so how might they have done this instead? Let's keep the fight, but make it even more of a mess. Bateman breaks somebody's nose, the apartment is totally trashed, police get called. Bateman gets arrested, and London has to beg her friend not to press charges against Syd. Syd ends up back in the bathroom, where London comes in to help nurse his injuries. They talk, using some of the dialog from their "deeply meaningful conversation" in the actual film but also more raw anger and hurt from him and a lot more analysis of their relationship's shortcomings from her. Without admitting it, it is here that he has to realize that his intellectualizing is bs and that he's been a totally selfish prick. And, through her tenderness and sadness and invocation of what was beautiful about their relationship, it needs to become clear that she still deeply loves him, though she has made the choice to move on with her life. Perhaps they could fall asleep in the bathroom together, then he takes her to the airport in the morning. The tracking shot at the airport, which is a nicely shot farewell, could then be mostly left intact, only the emotions would be earned.
Not a bad way to spend 89 minutes. Good Script. Good Acting.
Believable, if sometimes annoying, main characters, which i think was the point of the writing.
As a side note i always wondered how they can shoot a movie in a room full of mirrors, have the actors stand right in front of the camera & not see the camera in the mirror behind them. I just wondered.
I thought both Joy Bryant & Jessica Biel were under-utilized in this film. As a matter of fact that's all the films they've been in. But I digress.
Great music by the Crystal Method.
This film makes me interested in what Hunter Richards will do next.
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