Review: 'Nightcrawler'


[vc_row][vc_column width="2/3"][vc_column_text disable_pattern="true" align="left" margin_bottom="0"]Anyone who thinks that Nightcrawler is some sort of coming-out party for the adult version of Jake Gyllenhaal hasn’t seen Jarhead, Zodiac, Source Code or Prisoners. It wasn’t Donnie Darko, Bubble Boy, Prince of Persia and then darkness for the young actor; Gyllenhaal has been doing solid work for years. But hey, if this is the narrative that gets people to watch Gyllenhaal’s Lou Bloom rise to the top of the freelance crime videography, more power to it. After all, Dan Gilroy’s debut feature is a sadistic delight and unexpected crowd-pleaser. We’re introduced to Bloom as a man who’s trying to make a career (or at least a couple bucks) out of hocking materials stolen from construction sites. But after witnessing an accident on the freeway and seeing a pair of cameramen rush to the scene for footage that they’ll then peddle to local news producers, he develops a new obsession. Gyllenhaal’s Bloom is a walking how-to manual, a business textbook with a motor mouth. He spouts platitudes that he researched online about hard work and perseverance, and there’s no doubt that he’s dedicated. It’s his complete lack of morals, and unimpeachable ability to swerve situations to his favor, that both horrify and delight. It’s fun watching him work, even in service of evil, because both Gyllenhaal and the character are so damn committed. Gyllenhaal seems to delight in portraying conflicted obsessives; his characters in Jarhead and Zodiac could

barely hold it together, which actually makes Bloom a paragon of normalcy by comparison. He throws himself so unabashed into Bloom; you can’t help but laugh after seeing the brazen excitement on Gyllenhaal’s face when a group of police officers visit his apartment for questioning. We’re not sure if he’s thrilled to be on their radar or pleased with the knowledge that he’s two moves ahead of them, but we know he’s a man who perceives his stock as rising. While Bloom rises up the ranks of the “nightcrawlers,” as Bill Paxton’s yee-haw rival dubs their occupation, he becomes professionally intimate with struggling producer Nina Romina (Rene Russo). During a conversation in the newsroom, Bloom launches into a heartfelt monologue about his struggles to find a place in the world. We’re already aware of his highly dubious ethics, but as victorious music blares and Romina nods along encouragingly it’s clear that Nightcrawler has officially launched into satire. Which, unfortunately, doesn’t always work. Writer-director Gilroy (who’s been a working screenwriter for years) has seen Network and Taxi Driver, and he struggles to balance crowd-pleasing ridiculousness with what feels like the desire to make a worthy successor to these cinematic masterpieces. A bit too often, we leave behind the dark comedy that surrounds, say, Gyllenhaal’s interactions with his lowly paid “intern” Rick (a terrific Riz Ahmed) and are instead treated to endless stinging rebukes of today’s broadcasting landscape. The best moments of Nightcrawler are when it focuses on how the lowly standards of today's media might allow a sociopath like Lou to barrel his way to the top of the food chain, not the lowly standards of today's media, period. The message works when when it's weaved into the story, not blurted from the mouth of Kevin Rahm’s do-nothing fellow producer. But the joys of Gyllenhaal and the talented work of Russo and Ahmed (who know just what kind of movie they’re in) will keep you smiling, even though you know it’s so damn wrong. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_column_text disable_pattern="true" align="left" margin_bottom="0"][mk_fancy_title tag_name="h2" style="true" color="#393836" size="14" font_weight="inhert" margin_top="0" margin_bottom="18" font_family="none" align="left"]Details:[/mk_fancy_title] [mk_custom_list style="48" icon_color="#00c8d7" margin_bottom="30" align="none"]

  • Directed and written by: Dan Gilroy
  • Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton, Riz Ahmed
  • Runtime: 117 minutes
  • Release date: October 31, 2014

[/mk_custom_list] [mk_fancy_title tag_name="h2" style="true" color="#393836" size="14" font_weight="inhert" margin_top="0" margin_bottom="18" font_family="none" align="left"]More reviews from this author:[/mk_fancy_title] [mk_custom_list style="48" icon_color="#00c8d7" margin_bottom="30" align="none"]