Saturday, September 13, 2003
But even so OUATIM is dull and uninvolving. The problems start with the title, which demands comparison with Sergio Leone's great Western Once Upon a Time in America, with its shimmering iconic images one after the other. OUATIM, especially for something filmed in Mexico, feels strikingly small and flat when it should be epic. I am sick of people telling me that digital cinematography is every bit as good as celluloid; it isn't. (And what's with the green explosions?). OUATIM looks tired and literally faded on its opening day.
The plot is incomprehensible, and the stunts and action sequences are all watered-down John Woo (or, even worse, latter period James Bond) and are singularly uninvolving except for the aforementioned two with Depp, both of them being gun battles after he suffers a certain disability.
The rest of the cast is disappointing. I think Mickey Rourke was cast so that, just for once, Danny Trejo wouldn't be the ugliest guy in a movie.
Now I have much less to say about the superb Matchstick Men. because it shouldn't be spoiled even a little. It is a wonderful script wonderfully acted and wonderfully directed. I have never been that much of a Nicolas Cage fan, but he is great, as are Lohman and Rockwell. Ridley Scott is a genius. See it.