The world's top assassin, Duncan Vizla, is settling into retirement when his former employer marks him as a liability to the firm. Against his will, he finds himself back in the game going head to head with an army of younger killers.
A darkness swirls at the center of a world-renowned dance company, one that will engulf the artistic director, an ambitious young dancer, and a grieving psychotherapist. Some will succumb to the nightmare. Others will finally wake up.
Chloë Grace Moretz,
Rene Russo's as well as Jake Gyllenhaal's characters were written by Dan Gilroy specifically with them as actors in mind. He described them to Vanity Fair as follows: "Jake plays Morf Vandewalt, who's a contemporary art critic. And his character is the protagonist who leads us through the film and he takes us deeper and deeper into a mystery that leads to a final shocking realization. Rene plays Rhodora Haze, who started in a punk band in the 70s and now runs the biggest contemporary art gallery in Los Angeles. She was a musician who turned her back away from art to making money and she's been very good at it." See more »
Several characters are seen smoking in the galleries. This is a major breach of etiquette in the art world and likely against laws regarding smoking in public (filmed in Miami, there is a Florida statute banning public smoking). See more »
Dan Gilroy reunites with Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo for his new Netflix cooperation VELVET BUZZSAW.
What saves this film, is the lead performance by Gyllenhaal, who plays art critic Morf Vandewalt and provides for lots of great quotes that had me grinning throughout the movie. In contrast to NIGHTCRAWLER's Louis Bloom though, his character here is written as a more naive and less calculating person.
Gilroy's new film definitely lacks the punch of NIGHTCRAWLER. While especially in the first half of the movie the execution of its core premise, exposing the hypocrisy of the artistic elite, ironically turns out to be mostly superficial, Gilroy basically plays with standard horror tropes in the second half. "No originality, no courage", Vandewalt would probably judge. Last year's THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT definitely had way more to say in that regard.
VELVET BUZZSAW is still a somewhat entertaining film from start to finish, even if it obviously struggles with its narrative at times and didn't turn out to be the masterpiece that NIGHTCRAWLER was.
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