Monday 22 January 2024

REVIEW: Leave the World Behind (2023 Film) - Starring Ethan Hawke

The 2023 American apocalyptic psychological thriller film, "Leave the World Behind," proves to be a disappointing endeavor that falls short of its potential. Despite promising elements, the movie is hindered by a lackluster plot, numerous flaws, and an inconsistent focus that leaves viewers wanting more.

It plays more like a government propaganda / predictive programming type film, then a real Hollywood movie. (Is there a difference?)

Following the story of Amanda Sanford (played by Julia Roberts), a misanthrope, and her family on an unplanned vacation to Long Island, the film takes a dark turn with a series of unsettling events, including a blackout, mysterious strangers, and the breakdown of technology. As chaos ensues, the family grapples with the realization that a political coup may be unfolding.

While Julia Roberts delivers a strong performance as Amanda Sanford, her efforts are overshadowed by the film's political overtones. Mahershala Ali's performance as G.H. Scott is satisfactory, but it is Kevin Bacon who truly stands out, deserving a more significant role.

Despite these strengths, "Leave the World Behind" faces a multitude of issues. The plot is filled with significant holes, leaving audiences questioning the logic and coherence of the narrative. The slow pace in the first hour makes it challenging for viewers to stay engaged, and the film's constant shifts in focus contribute to a lack of overall clarity.

One of the most glaring drawbacks is the inclusion of offensive racist overtones that feel unnecessary and out of place. Attempting to convey a radical far-left agenda through these elements detracts from the narrative, adding discomfort for viewers.

The film struggles to find its identity, wavering between different themes and genres, making it difficult for audiences to connect with the characters or the overarching story. Consequently, "Leave the World Behind" lacks a satisfying payoff at the end, leaving viewers with a sense of disappointment and the feeling of having wasted over two hours on a poorly executed film.

In conclusion, "Leave the World Behind" fails to meet expectations. Despite commendable performances by Julia Roberts and Kevin Bacon, the film's weak plot, slow pacing, offensive overtones, and lack of a cohesive identity make it a forgettable and unsatisfying cinematic experience. With a score of 3 out of 10, this film leaves much to be desired. Perhaps it's best to "Leave This Film Behind."

Now available on Netflix.