Waste Land – *

Posted: September 3, 2015 in 2014, Belgium, Cop Movie, Crime/Detective, Drama, Flanders, X

The synopsis and trailer looked so promising. A film noir set in multilingual and multicultural Brussels about a troubled detective investigating the murder of a young Congolese man. But the end result is disappointing. In fact, the end result is close to being plain crap.

Luckily there is Jeremy Renier, one of the best Belgian actors around. He carries this movie. A great feat, since the shooting must not have been an easy job. He was a last-minute replacement for Matthias Schoenaerts and his character is supposed to be Flemish. There’s a reference to his character being Flemish early on in the movie which doesn’t make sense at all because Jeremy is excellent as a typical French-speaking Bruxellois who can converse in Flemish when needed. But that’s a minor cringeworthy point. There’s so much more in this movie that doesn’t make sense at all, that it’s really tough to sit through.

First, the director doesn’t seem to know what kind of movie he wants to make. It’s a mix of detective thriller and psychological drama and it fails in both genres. There’s nothing thrilling about it and the drama never captivates. A good director gets you in the mood for a certain genre (Scorcese) or combines it with so much flair that the viewer is hooked from the beginning (Soderbergh). Secondly, there are so many superfluous scenes that add nothing to the story and are plain annoying. Why do we need to see Nathalie Broods nipples? Okay, she’s in a sauna and you’re naked in a sauna. But why are they even in a sauna? What’s the point of that scene? And the recreational drug use? Why is that necessary to show? What does that add to the story? It’s cliché. It’s been done before. Many times. And better. But finally, the most terrible thing about this movie is the script and the story. If it were a book, you would have stopped reading after three chapters.

Luckily there’s Jeremy Renier. As mentioned before. And Geert Paredis who was the art director. Because despite the crappy storyline, you can still enjoy the visuals.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2294939/

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