Knives Out

Knives Out ★★★

Few filmmakers try so hard as Rian Johnson which is the main reason most of his movies fall apart by act 3, at some point the highwire act just sef-defeats. This is true of Knives Out as well, but the film works a little better than his others because it commits to its shallow house of cards act. It is all a series of artificial sleight of hand movements with Johnson's direction going as theatrical as he can to sell them and actors doubling down in the caricature. The political stuff would be embarassing well meaning Hollywood liberal material, but feels as much a put on as everything else, if this had been made after Looper as I assume was his original intention he would grab whatever commentary on class talking points would fit mid second term Obama and little about the movie would've change. In the end, everything here from the Gravity's Rainbow joke to every time Craig repeats Armas has a good heart to the film not resisting to remark on Craig's accent serve the same function to keep the artificial closed-off mystery machinery going. Good on Johnson to take his Disney clout and put it on making the ideal Rian Johnson movie, his model train runs smoothly, I will likely watch 20-30 minutes of it whenever it is on at late night cable and think "Knives Out is nice". I just wish the ideal Rian Johnson movie had more to it than just its own effectiveness.

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