The first film for Bennett and Gabe of 2015 is classic Wachowski… which means classically insane.
This movie is the Wachowski’s Sucker Punch. Both are what happens when you remove any and all limitations from their directors, and their imaginations just run away with them. They’re just every possible concept in their creator’s minds being thrown at the screen simultaneously, and as a result there’s no overall structure and purpose to any of it. Great action though, the aerial chase through Chicago in Jupiter was something to behold.
If you think about it, the Wachowskis have an identical career path to Zach Snyder. Each hit it big with their second movies, and following the initial massive financial success Warner Bros kept throwing money at them in the hope of repeating it. They both then made two adaptations that failed financially (though one from each received decent reviews) and then a giant, indulgent disaster of a pet project that crashed and burned spectacularly. This should mean they’ll be directing Aquaman at some point.
I’d say Zach Synder has slightly better track record than the Wachowski’s he’s only made one bomb to date. Honestly he seems to be as good or bad as the script he’s handed. He seems to have little sense of good storytelling of his own but if its on the page he can put it on film which is 300 and Watchmen were pretty good representations of their source material but Sucker Punch was crap and MOS was uneven. The Wachowski’s track record is rougher than Synder’s but they were able to pull off the first Matrix very well almost on their but after that they’ve never been able reach the same level of success when left to their own devices really how good their movies are seems to be determined on inspired they are without getting stuck up their asses. I think Synder has more legs in Hollywood than the Wachowski’s as long as producers are sure to hand him a decent scripts he’ll make decent movies with a lot of visual flare (that critically more than make their money back) which is decidedly more than most directors in Hollywood can manage I doubt he’ll ever make something approaching Oscar worthy unless he’s handed an immaculate script that plays to all his strengths but he could easily be a workaday director long into the future. While the Wachowski’s seemed to have burned up a lot of good will in Hollywood and they’re a less predictable quantity.
Snyder’s had 3 bombs to date, as movies have to make back their production, marketing and distribution budgets as well as the cuts taken by foreign distributors (up to 70% in some countries). This means they have to make roughly twice their production budget worldwide to break even (a good general estimate for profit/loss is to divide the worldwide gross by two, and subtract the production budget*).
So Watchmen lost approximately $35m, Legend of the Guardians roughly $10m and Sucker Punch $45m. Man of Steel also underperformed compared to expectations, Warners expected a billion dollars but it only brought in two-thirds of that (they didn’t throw Batman into the sequel because they have faith in it).
Personally, I’m one of the people who thinks Cloud Atlas is a modern classic, and Snyder’s interpretation of Watchmen was faithful to the source, but only on the surface level. I don’t think Snyder understands Watchmen as anything deeper than ‘this is cool!’, as evidenced by the monotonous tone of awe throughout.
I think the Wachowskis can make another classic like Bound, The Matrix or Cloud Atlas but only if there are limitations to what they are able to do in it. The first was set in reality, the second had a fair bit of studio oversight and the last one was a faithful adaptation of a book, so provided they aren’t given utter carte blanche on an original concept they can do great. A superhero film sounds perfect for that
*According to Wikipedia’s box office bomb page, this is the formula commonly used by industry analysts.
Nope one bomb: Sucker punch. Check the actual global box office for Guardians and Watchmen not just the U.S. box office both more than made up their production costs when you account for the global gross when all was said and done.
According to Box Office Mojo, Watchmen made $185m worldwide on a $130m production budget, so with marketing, distribution etc that thing would have cost well over $200m. Legend of the Guardians made $140m on an $80m budget, which is less than twice its production budget (the usual bar for breaking even worldwide). There’s a hell of a lot more to this stuff than just the cost of making the movie.
Having just saw the movie, I envision a future in twenty years where this is as much of a cult film as Starship Troopers and Krull. It was like a combination of Dune, the Fifth Element, Harry Potter, and Dragon Age Origins. For that matter, the Wachowskis could have made a pretty decent Dune movie if they wanted to. Or at least a more accurate Dune movie.
Dragon Age: Origins is FAR better written than this shit. Then again, it IS BioWare, and they always have good writing. Unless its the end of Mass Effect 3.
It looked like flashy trash to me. It sounds like flashy trash from the review.
It’s another forgettable movie dropped in the middle of winter in hopes of people seeing it to alleviate boredom.
This movie is shit, but I must say that the bureaucracy part was interesting because it was a homage to Brazil, down to having Terry Gilliam himself in the scene as the old guy.