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Overall Rating

Awesome: 17.24%
Worth A Look: 22.41%
Just Average: 6.9%
Pretty Crappy: 20.69%

3 reviews, 40 user ratings

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Gone Girl
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by Rob Gonsalves

"Pass the matches."
1 stars

"Gone Girl" is the most loathsome movie I’ve seen in the twenty-eight years I’ve been reviewing films.

What’s worse, I’m sure its director, David Fincher, would be jazzed by my reaction. But he shouldn’t be: he has brought considerable craft and resources to bear on a creepy, ugly thing, a pretty hate machine, a bruised corpse on a coldly gleaming autopsy table (which fairly well describes the film’s color scheme). It reduces everything and everyone to shit, and then rubs it in our faces. It’s the kind of movie that Alex the droog from A Clockwork Orange would make about human relationships and marriage, and its nastiness is not mitigated by art of any sort, or entertainment other than a detached buzz over novelist/scripter Gillian Flynn’s laughable plot twists.

Flynn’s script, brimming with l’esprit d’escalier dialogue reflecting a cynical writer’s idea of how clever people talk, sticks more or less close to her novel, from what I gather. Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) becomes the prime suspect in the disappearance of his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike). It’s a very long movie, at two hours and twenty-five minutes (and feels longer), so it probably doesn’t constitute a spoiler to say that the entire movie isn’t about chasing Amy, and that we shouldn’t trust our initial assumptions about Nick. Yes, if Maleficent was a #yesallwomen movie, Gone Girl is a #notallmen movie. Men’s-rights activists and incipient rapists and abusers should love it.

Much more than this I cannot reveal without blowing the movie’s raison d’être, and many people not culpable for the storytelling or aesthetic choices in Gone Girl have done honest work — including newcomer Carrie Coon as Nick’s sardonic sister and, incredibly, Tyler Perry as a high-powered lawyer who takes Nick’s case — so their work doesn’t deserve to be spoiled. That does leave me some leeway, though, to object to such details as how even the early, supposedly affectionate sex between Nick and Amy carries the sordid chill of the morgue; or how a later sex scene turns egregiously gory (it’s far worse than most violence that the usual moral guardians object to in slasher films but will excuse in this higher-toned Hollywood movie); or how the film depicts low-income motel-dwellers as thuggish thieves without blinking (the gross elitism of the writer and director really stands out here); or how a certain character’s perfidy reaches levels that require the diabolical planning acumen of the fucking Joker. Indeed, Gone Girl gives us Affleck-as-Batman versus Superman a year early: his adversary can do anything, can convince anyone of anything.

So this pulpy tripe — framed, I guess, as meta-commentary on pulpy tripe, which I submit amounts to the same thing — is what’s being peddled as a serious movie, one with not even Mad-magazine but Crazy-magazine-level “satire” of the media that feels a clean two decades off, complete with Missy Pyle as a fulminating Nancy Grace caricature. The paparazzi and news vans descend on Nick’s flyover town as if there were nothing else going on in the country, and we spend too much time watching Nick being groomed for media appearances. You see, Flynn and Fincher (how tempting to refer to these twin sociopaths with the portmanteau Flyncher) are saying, it’s not important in our degraded culture whether someone is innocent, but whether he or she appears innocent and whether the media buys into that.

Fincher’s Zodiac was a true-crime masterpiece of dread and obsession, but it’s clear by now that he’s a top-rank shiner of expensive shoes, a director drawn by technological challenges as well as a general dim view of the world, and after the cheap tricks and galloping misogyny of Gone Girl I’m pretty much done with him. (As for Gillian Flynn, from whom the blessings of this squalid story flow, she can go right to Hell and stay there.) This rancid saga, grindingly unpleasant to the eye and freezing to the touch, seems contrived to titillate audiences with fashionable bleakness, a dash of flesh, a cascade of blood, a wide streak of conservatism cloaked in the cold leather of faux punk rock.

If this is what hits the top of bestseller and box-office lists these days, American literature and cinema deserve to burn to the ground. Pass the matches.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=25926&reviewer=416
originally posted: 11/03/14 14:41:04
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2014 New York Film Festival For more in the 2014 New York Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

9/01/18 Jane Agree - awful loathesome film - and book - creepy loathesome not one redeeming feature 1 stars
3/29/17 stephen david fincher's 4th masterpiece, and an instant classic. 5 stars
2/13/17 Louise Absolute rubbish. Glad I borrowed the DVD and didn't spend money on seeing this tripe. 1 stars
10/29/16 morris campbell clever disturbing compelling dont believe the hate 4 stars
10/06/16 Aaron C I wish i had read this review before seeing the movie. A++ Wish I could get the time back 1 stars
3/10/16 Richard A bit of hyperbole to say it's the most loathesome film in 28 years, but otherwise dead on. 2 stars
2/15/16 Dave Reassuring to read this critic's voice-of-reason review. 2 stars
1/16/16 hubie a rubbish movie, vastly overrated. the motel scenes especially are ridiculous.r 1 stars
1/08/16 Gulnaz I sighed with relief when I read this review: I thought I'm the only one that hated fhefilm 1 stars
1/04/16 Jackson Totally agree. I hated this movie for all the reasons you listed. So, so overrated and dumb 1 stars
11/23/15 J Sag 2 stars
11/20/15 BugZ "THE most loathsome movie"...in 28 years? Wow. 4 stars
11/03/15 Ben Great movie. Like the book you can't put down, you need to know what comes next. 5 stars
11/01/15 Inge Macaulay A sorry mess ! 2 stars
10/13/15 Louise Bad. I hate Affleck and Pike with an American accent - spare me! 2 stars
9/19/15 Ann I was so disappointed with this movie. I expected it to be a serious movie ..... 2 stars
9/14/15 Kate Blackhurst Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck are both excellent actors and it is not their fault that this 1 stars
9/12/15 Art How can you be on rotten tomatoes when your website is from 1995 3 stars
8/30/15 JAY lets be fair, this movie is awful, but this moron of a reviewer gave fast and furious a 4/5 3 stars
8/18/15 Sharon Knock I absolutely hated this story. It was unbelievable, and it wore me out. 1 stars
8/16/15 Captain Jack Started strong, but turned into a silly mess. 2 stars
8/08/15 mr.mike Good until the lame ending. 3 stars
8/08/15 Anthony I'm not sure if I want to live in a world where this is a #1 at the Box Office. 1 stars
8/07/15 DVD at the cottage I totally agree! Your assessment was more entertaining than the movie. What a load! 2 stars
8/07/15 Michael I agree. I'd add that the motivation at the end is absurd. 2 stars
8/05/15 Inge Macaulay Boring, turgid mess ! 2 stars
8/03/15 Talubar A very unpleasant experience 2 stars
8/03/15 Could not agree more Shite 1 stars
7/24/15 Jean Thank you for the one accurate review! 1 stars
7/17/15 brian gateley the above writter of this review is so vaganized it makes me sick 4 stars
1/08/15 bunny101 Very interesting. Would definitely recommend. 4 stars
12/25/14 Trident That it's mysoginist is liberal bullshit. But most of the criticism is spot-on. 2 stars
12/17/14 Langano Bitches be crazy. 4 stars
11/09/14 Butt Tedious & wildly unbelievable. Fincher, please no more Reznor & Ross. 3 stars
10/19/14 alice Not bad at all ! 4 stars
10/15/14 zig zag terrible overrated film filled with plot holes 1 stars
10/12/14 glzcarl a 5 stars
10/03/14 Bob Dog Fincher's cranks it up to 7 5 stars
10/02/14 The rock Fincher needs to change it up 1 stars
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  03-Oct-2014 (R)
  DVD: 13-Jan-2015


  DVD: 13-Jan-2015

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