“99 Homes”

“99 Homes”
Directed by Ramin Bahrani

99homes2This is the film that reminds you “watch-ability” and “likability” are two very different things. Of course, you could say that about everything that features Michael Shannon. It possesses a utilitarian, and occasionally excellent, script…and a decent score from the fairly new to feature composing, Antony Partos. But the sum of its parts don’t add up to anything beyond a good morality play about the ways in which income-inequality directly affects a segment of Americans.

I think the fault lies in the moments of the script that fall below the level of its own peaks. The recipients of these low points seem to fall on the shoulders of Garfield and Dern. Their journeys seem overly dramatic and leaden-handed in symbolism. But, then again, Michael Shannon is in it. It’s not a great role…he’s handicapped by sharing so much screen time with the underwritten Garfield. But he’s a worthy antagonist – and those craggly lines on his hypnotic face are ever-present.

If it sounds like I’m waffling, its simply because it’s so close to being a very good film…and I wanted it to be…badly. But, alas, it falls short of that, and is merely a very easy watch. It’s better than “Concussion”, but like that film, “99 Homes” would make for a very good flick to watch on a plane.

 

Written 1/29/2016

 

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