Jul 3, 2019

Too Old to Die Young (Nicolas Winding Refn, 2019)

Unwatchable out of 10☼

After watching... pardon, barely sitting through the first two episodes of NWR's latest offering, 'auteur' mini series Too Old to Die Young, I feel compelled to share a few thoughts on it, especially considering that it is the first piece of cinema (now, this epithet is highly arguable) that managed to transform my frustration into an unpleasant and hence unwanted physical sensation. In a preposterous attempt to out-revolutionize David Lynch's sublime, inimitable return to Twin Peaks, the acclaimed Danish helmer overestimates his own skill and, strongly believing he is making boundary-pushing efforts of metaphysical proportions, creates a dull and listless self-parody. Uninvolving on every level imaginable, and moving slower than molasses without any rhyme or reason, it sadistically torments the viewer with unjustifiable pauses between the pulpy, B-movie-like lines delivered in a deadpan, quasi-meaningful manner, with protagonists' blank stares thrown in for good measure.

Adding to its poisonous unwatchability are the unapologetically garish, superficially attractive visuals hyper-stylized to the point of being (paradoxically) quickly stripped off their initial, somewhat forced charm, which results in the unwitting downgrading of the whole proceedings into an obnoxiously kitschy equivalent of some 'eau de parfum' commercial... and who wants to watch a vacuous, hour an a half long ad?! The worst thing about the languorous opening to this cold, epically miscalculated project is the scent or rather, stench of intolerable narcissism. Now, don't get me wrong - I'm all for boldly personal, self-indulgent filmmaking or art in general, but I'm definitely not crazy about having the artist's sticky spit of arrogance smeared all over his/her work, as in this case (or the case of that other notorious Dane's recent atrocity). So, without further ado, I'd like to put a period to my outpour of negativity, while trying to aleviate the pungent disappointment by reminding myself of how much I admire Refn's delighfully gloomy viking saga Valhalla Rising and glamorously nightmarish extravaganza Neon Demon...

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