Based on the Daniel Clowes’ graphic novel of the same name, Wilson stars Woody Harrelson as the oddball title character who is stuck in the past. The blunt talking mess of a middle-aged man spends his days mostly complaining about everyone and everything. He curses at people who would rather look at their phone then have a conversation with him, mocks people who pay attention to his dog Pepper instead of the human walking her and has pretty much found himself friendless due to his black cloud mentality. Wilson finds a purpose though after tracking down his troubled long-lost wife Pippi (Laura Dern) who informs him of some life changing information. This sends Wilson on a creepy quest to create a family with his ex and find the human connections he so desperately desires.
Woody Harrelson brings to life Clowes’ grumpy loner in weird and obnoxious fashion. Harrelson is quite bizarre portraying the space invading Wilson who has no issues sitting down at a table with a total stranger or striking up a conversation with someone at the urinal next to him. Wilson definitely makes some valid points about individuals in the digital age being addicted to their phones and can’t do anything without documenting it on Social Media. Harrelson’s sad sack is right about the art of the conversation going extinct, but the problem is Wilson is the type of guy that makes you wish you had your phone after a few minutes of speaking with him.
Wilson is a quirky character who will make you feel better about yourself after watching him stumble through life thanks to a solid performance from Woody Harrelson. The problem is the work by Harrelson is the only thing that is worth a damn in the film. The movie is a mess of scenes that Wilson is dropped into making for uncomfortable situations that don’t mesh together which hurts the overall product. So much content is shoved into Wilson‘s 94 minute running time making the film seem like it’s in a big rush. Wilson is meant to be a slice of loser life character study, but mostly it’s just silly and mean making you feel nothing for the characters involved.
Harrelson will make you giggle when you shouldn’t, but the subplots in Wilson involving road trips, rekindling romance and kidnapping will leave you shaking your head over how great this film could have been with a little direction in terms of a story the audience will care about. The film is quite dark at times and Wilson is a tough character to root for which is a major problem for a movie about a guy looking for some kind of redemption in his crappy life. Four letter words, crude behavior and uncomfortable moments make for great comedy, but so does a little heart which Wilson sadly lacks.
Overall, I give Wilson 2 out of 4 stars.
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