Burning ★★

Beautiful cinematography and a great performance from Steven Yeun can't prevent this from being needlessly cumbersome and thoroughly exhausting to sit through. Strip away the pretty window dressing and arthouse veneer and you'll find a Manic Pixie Dream Girl, rote explorations of masculinity, and a lead character who is as blank of a slate as there can be — the last point is particularly problematic when your film is two and a half hours long. None of this outside of Yeun's character is interesting at all, and the occasionally obnoxious script says nothing of substance while trying to get you to believe it's deep. I just don't care about the lead or his problems, and the film doesn't do anything in the way of development to alleviate that. The climax veers on laughable as a result. Enough with these "tortured" piece of shit male protagonists already.

Probably the best poster of the year, though.


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