Jean-Marc Vallée has shown in past works like Dallas Buyer’s Club and Wild to be an expert in creating a compelling watch that focuses on tales of tragedy, the reactions of the people to said tragedy and the glimmer of hope one may find at the end of their journey. There are no superheroes, giant robots or natural disasters that wreck the city. Just people dealing with the ups and downs in this thing we call life.
In Vallée’s new film Demolition starring Jake Gyllenhaal, the director takes on death and the way different people cope and react to it. Gyllenhaal plays Davis Mitchell, a successful investment banker who suddenly loses his wife in a tragic car accident. Davis walks away unharmed, but severely damaged mentally as he proceeds to shut out everyone and act as if nothing happened until he makes a connection with a strange customer service rep named Karen (Naomi Watts) and her wild young son (Judah Lewis).
At times Demolition can be hard to watch. Seeing a man be so cold towards the people mourning the loss of his wife is not the most enjoyable film to sit through at times. The ugliness of life from the secrets and feelings we bury deep inside to hide from one another isn’t what you would call a heartwarming experience. If you’re looking for a good time at the movies, Demolition is not that film.
Demolition is dark, weird and gets a little lost in itself at times, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad movie. Director Jean-Marc Vallée once again delivers a film that keeps your attention and brings a troubled and unlikable character at times to life. It also helps to have Jake Gyllenhaal at the top of his game playing Davis, even if his character does get forced into a romance angle, which is totally unbelievable.
Gyllenhaal’s work is remarkable as Davis and gives the audience a different depiction of a grieving husband. At times you want to hug the widower, but other times you will wish to punch him in the face because of his actions towards others. The latter is what hurts the overall experience in Demolition. You will respect the performances of Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Cooper and newcomer Judah Lewis, but Demolition is a hard movie to enjoy despite being unable to take your eyes off the sad story on-screen.
Overall, I give Demolition 2.75 out of 4 stars.
Read all my reviews here–>Entertainment Now with T.M. Powell