This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Deven K.B.’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
“Could our mission have been a mistake? Are we really helping these people build a better world? We're just like the soldiers down there: pawns to their leaders, blinded by loyalty.”
Hm…. Something tells me that Chloé Zhao’s humanist philosophies, complex high-concept sci-fi world-building, and nonlinear storytelling decisions weren’t totally grasped by the 9-10 year olds who dominated my screening’s audience.
Anyways, I thought this was pretty fun! Imperfect and strange, wacky cosmic philosophizing over some big ideas (family dynamics, grief dynamics, faith structures, existentialism, etc. etc.), with an interesting (if sometimes odd) story structure, culminating in a third act that felt tangible and earned in both stakes and scope. I liked all the characters, and I thought most of the cast played their roles really well. There was a lot of stuff that totally didn’t work, particularly some screenwriting decisions that made absolutely zero sense, and it generally seemed like Zhao’s filmmaking sensibilities were strained trying to fit within a “Marvel Film™,” but at this point in the MCU I’ll take ambitious and flawed over safe and formulaic. It’s far from the total creative failure that a lot of people seem to think it is… I guess I’m just a little surprised that this is the film that’s seemingly breaking the MCU fandom, and I think the critical response has been way too harsh. Then again, I’m also one of “those people” who love Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World, so what do I know? Who cares!!