- Gareth Crook
Updated: Jul 31, 2019
I finally got around to watching High Rise. Ever since seeing the trailer I've been intrigued. Stylish, bleak, a potential monster built around the J. G. Ballard book (which I really must read). Potential is the stand out word there though. There's lots here that works. Hiddleston is good, but no better than Shearsmith who also brings his A-Game to a minor roll. Everyone is blown off screen by Luke Evans though as Wilder, who's character, raw, animalistic, sums up the tone of the film. It looks great... and awful where it needs to. Some of the camera work is stunning, but relies heavily on that clinical 70s design, which often brings A Clockwork Orange to mind. Not only visually, but Clint Mansell's score also delivers that dark playful classical feel that almost screams Kubrick and while we're on music, there's that Portishead cover of Abba's SOS. Possibly the best cover of any song ever? I'd heard the tribute was stunning, but wanted to wait until I heard it in context with the film and I'm glad I did. Whether it's the music alone, I'm not sure, but the scene it accompanies was one of the highlights for me. So, lots of great stuff. But a film needs to be more than a sum of its parts and this does fall short. Flashes of brilliance and rooted in an undeniably great story, but I'm left feeling it could've been more. Perhaps I'm greedy. But seriously, Portishead... fantastic!!