A doctor moves into a luxurious apartment building and gets caught
in a class war between the upper and lower floors of the building.
Directed by Ben Wheatley
Written by Amy Jump
Starring Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller,
Luke Evans, Elisabeth Moss, James Purefoy, Keeley Hawes
Based on the novel by J.G. Ballard
When it takes me three separate tries to get through a movie, that's a pretty big sign that it's gonna be pretty bad. Such is the case with High-Rise, an adaptation of a novel that is notorious for being "unfilmable." Well, sometimes that stigma stands tall, especially when the film adaptation is incoherent and dull. This film has an amazing cast at its disposal, and everybody seems to be phoning it from the beginning. I'm still not entirely clear on what the film was about, or what its message was supposed to be. I'd guess something about capitalism being bad, but it'd be a shot in the dark.
Tom Hiddleston plays Laing, a doctor who moves into a beautiful high-rise apartment building in England circa 1976. The film starts out relatively normal, with Laing settling into his new apartment, mingling with his neighbors, and going to parties. Soon, you learn that the residents of the lower floors and the residents of the upper floors don't mingle and actively hate each other. When the power goes out across the building, this hate escalates into full-scale war, with people rioting, looting, and even murdering each other. This full-blown left turn comes out of nowhere and erases what little character development we've gotten thus far. We watch as these characters devolve into Walking Dead style scavengers and rape, kill, and rob each other for half the movie, while the rich just half ridiculous sex parties. Like I said, I couldn't tell you what the hell this film is about.
High-Rise is a nonsensical disaster of a film that came and went for a very good reason. It isn't enjoyable, it's not memorable, and it isn't worth anybody's time. Every actor who appeared in this movie should take a good long look at themselves in the mirror. They have the ability to produce quality work. I've seen it before. There's no reason they should've churned out this trainwreck.