Wildlife (2018) Review


Joe Brinson, a teenage boy must deal with his parents marriage falling apart after his father Jerry abandons them to take on a risky job after being too proud to take his old job back. This sends Jeanette into a different place.


Wildlife is a look a families, relationships, including marriage and that between a father/son and mother/son. I had this on my Netflix queue for quite a while due to the cast more than anything else, as the plot did not sound overly interesting. Drama is one of my favourite genres though so with those factors I really did not think I could go wrong.

Unfortunately nothing in this dull borefest of a film works or is even remotely engaging. I was actually not sure I was going to make it to the end to be brutally honest considering with twenty minutes left nothing had really happened. Joe had been part of the football team at his old school, but eventually tells his father that he does not want to play. Something he pretty much ignores but he gives this up to work for a photographer. That’s pretty much that really, when Jerry leaves to fight the wildfire Jeanette attempts to get a better job meeting Warren Miller.

Now the most shocking part of the film involves Miller and I was quite shocked that you would think any mother would kiss another man in front of her teenage son, especially given the massive age gap between the pair. It just quite frankly did not make a lot of sense. She could have easily got a better job and money in a much better way.

Anyway everything I have mentioned probably acts as spoilers because that is pretty much everything that happens during this dull very long feeling 1 hour and 45 minute film. I was then shocked to see the extremely high ratings on Rotten Tomatoes (I know we shouldn’t base anything on those, but I still find it interesting) and I actually thought I had searched for the wrong film.

This will just be one of those films I took as extremely pretentious attempting to be artistic with shot after shot of Joe’s emotionless face when something major was supposed to be happening to him. So I guess it appears I will continue not being a fan of Paul Dano at all, never enjoyed any of his acting performances and thinking that it will probably be better not to follow his directing/writing career either.

I am seriously shocked that I have rated a film with both Carey Mulligan and Jake Gyllenhaal in so low. I have so much time for them both as they take very diverse choices for roles and over the years have built up amazing filmographies.

To end really I should probably just say that this film was not for me and I obviously didn’t get the whole point of it and therefore why so many people have totally loved it? The joy of watching so many films eh?

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