Film Review: ‘Demolition’ Describes the Way They Treated the Story

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CHICAGO – The attempt to make a European-style “journey of emotional morality” between four characters in New York City kept getting flatter and flatter as the tale emerged. It’s amusing that they called it “Demolition,” because as cinema, it’s basically a teardown.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.5/5.0
Rating: 2.5/5.0

It’s Jake Gyllenhaal at his “Gyllenhaal-est” as a guilty widower who reacts in a special way when mourning his wife’s untimely death – and somehow it involves a mysterious outsider and her conveniently weird son, and lots of angst. There are some interesting feelings to consider, but they are all screwed into the ground until they melt at the center core. The director, Canadian Jean Marc-Valleé, has hacked it up before (the overrated “Dallas Buyer’s Club”), but this time the choppy narrative and attempts at “relevance” is a Hacker’s Hall of Fame. And dang nab the happy ending, which was tacked on so quickly the holes in the corner were still evident.

Davis (Jake Gyllehaal) is living an investment banker, New York City commuter, upper middle class porn life. He lives with his perfect wife Julia (Heather Lind) in a House Beautiful architecture dreamscape. When a sudden car accident takes Julia’s life, he must deal with her father – who is also his boss – and the mixed feelings he has for the tragedy.

Davis begins to act strangely, and it begins with a here’s-my-life-story complaint letter to a vending machine customer service rep named Karen (Naomi Watts), and before you can say “unlikely romance,” they hook up. Her son Chris (Judah Lewis) is part of the package, and the two odd and angst-ridden pals are suddenly acting out in bizarre ways – including the quirk of Davis, who begins to disassemble and destroy things.


“Demolition” opens nationwide on April 8th. Featuring Jake Gyllenhaal, Naomi Watts, Chris Cooper, Judah Lewis and Heather Lind. Written by Bryan Sipe. Directed by Jean Marc-Valleé. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Demolition”

Jake Gyllenhaal
Davis (Jake Gyllehaal) Contemplates His Symbolism in ‘Demolition’
Photo credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Demolition”

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