Lügenspiel: Directed by Courtney Hunt. With Keanu Reeves, Renée Zellweger, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Gabriel Basso. A defense attorney works to get his teenage client acquitted of murdering his wealthy father.
“Just the other day I stumbled upon an animated short called u0026quot;Sebastianu0026#39;s Voodoou0026quot;. It runs about 4 minutes with closing credits and was made by a sophomore student on a shoestring budget. It has it all – story, characters, visuals, drama, climax, finale, meaning. Now you need to hear it again – itu0026#39;s under 5 minutes.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eIu0026#39;d have thought that the stuff that runs one and a half hour, features Keanu Reeves and Renee Zellweger (I guess) and cost at least several millions should be able to offer at least something along those lines, shouldnu0026#39;t it? I mean if it is not by design in the same category as, say, u0026quot;Mechanic: Resurrectionu0026quot; – that is not a piece of totally senseless action entertainment which does not even pretend for a second to be anything more than that? Unfortunately, itu0026#39;s not the case here.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eItu0026#39;s obviously not a movie one would want to write a dissertation about, so letu0026#39;s be brief. Good news first. The story is semi-OK with a couple of more or less legitimate twists. After two decades of preparation Keanu Reeves delivers something that remotely qualifies as acting (at any rate his lawyer here is perceptibly less wooden than in u0026quot;The Devilu0026#39;s Advocateu0026quot; and the remnants of his trademark acting quality are somewhat justified in the context of the plot). Thatu0026#39;s it.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eNow, would it be good enough? Itu0026#39;s not that anybody asked for my opinion, but as far as Iu0026#39;m concerned – not quite. What would be the justification of a multi-million project with major stars if at the end of the day the outcome feels, as one reviewer pointed out, like a TV show episode? Except for paychecks for all parties involved?u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe truth is that the movie feebly hints at some points but they are dropped halfway and ultimately not really made. My guess would be that it might have been different in the script but changed during the production – it would explain why one of the main characters suddenly becomes kind of u0026#39;unnecessaryu0026#39;. It is as if the movie was afraid of getting too poignant and chooses to play it safely.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe direction is equally mediocre and all about u0026#39;been there done thatu0026#39; (repeatedly) thing. It does not even hint at any original vision. No, thatu0026#39;s not true. At some point you can have a glimpse of Renee Zellwegeru0026#39;s (still guessing but definitely not a body doubleu0026#39;s) naked posterior. Despite the fact that itu0026#39;s not as ample as it used to be, this revelation is commendable. And itu0026#39;s never been done before. But again – thatu0026#39;s it.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThen again, since patent mediocrity has always been the main specialty of mainstream Hollywood, this all is not surprising. What is, however, is why people like Keanu settle for it time and time and time again. With his ability as a performer mentioned he is hardly in a position to be picky. However, with his financial ability he certainly is.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eWhy not to produce meaningful mid-/low-budget projects and finance them with his own money to retain total creative control while minding their commercial potential as well? Reportedly Keanu tried something of the sort recently. But, apparently due to a half-measures approach implemented, wound up with u0026quot;Exposedu0026quot; after u0026quot;Daughter of Godu0026quot; was gang raped by Lionsgate executives.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eWell, Neo, everybody falls the first time. Get a decent crew of inventive dudes who actually have something to say and try again. Stir this morass a little. Who, if not you? Because even u0026quot;Exposedu0026quot; has more meaning, real drama as well as artistic and, ultimately, overall value to it than u0026quot;The Whole Truthu0026quot;.”