A New Definition for Boring
Release Date: May 30, 2014
Runtime: 112 minutes
Director: Kelly Reichardt
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Josh (Jesse Eisenberg) lives and works at a self-sustaining farm. He’s friends with another environmentalist, Dena (Dakota Fanning), who owns a spa and sauna.
A filmmaker shows a documentary at their local environmental group about how much humans are destroying the planet. Josh and Dena hatch a plan to do their part. Together, they buy a boat and drive up into the woods to meet with Josh’s friend Harmon (Peter Sarsgaard). Harmon, who used to be in the Marines, lives in a dumpy cabin surrounded by trees. It’s there that they unveil their plan to fill the boat with explosives and bomb the local river dam that’s killing salmon.
After filling their boat with fertilizer in the dead of night, they hook the boat to the dam without anyone seeing them. They successfully blow the dam up and get past a police checkpoint without being caught. They mutually decide to have no contact with each other and go back to the regular lives.
When Josh gets back home, he sees in the news that the water from the dam explosion washed away a camper down the river and is likely dead. Shocked, Josh plays it cool so no one would know that he was involved, but he becomes more and more paranoid. Dena becomes distraught with guilt, which worries Josh and Harmon.
When news of their involvement begins to spread around the environmentalist group, Josh decides it’s time for him to leave. (SPOILERS FOLLOW) Before he does so, however, he confronts Dena and, in the heat of the moment, kills her so she won’t talk to the authorities. The movie ends with Josh applying for a job at a camping store.
NIGHT MOVES tries hard to be subtle and artistic, but all it accomplishes is boring the audience for nearly two hours. The plot is very slow and the characters are uninteresting, shallow, and expressionless. Even the cinematography is dull.
On one hand, the movie is heavily filled with environmentalism, but the characters take it to such an extreme, it’s difficult to know what the filmmakers were trying to say. It’s clear that the deaths stemming from their actions were immoral. So, the movie seems to be more in favor of a less confrontational form of environmental change. Either way, this vague and painful movie is neither edifying nor redeeming, so extreme caution is advised.
NIGHT MOVES tries hard to be subtle and artistic, but all it accomplishes is boring the audience for nearly two hours. The plot is very slow and the characters are uninteresting, shallow, and expressionless. Even the cinematography is dull. On one hand, the movie is heavily filled with environmentalism. However, the characters take it to an extreme and it’s clear that the deaths stemming from their actions are immoral. So, it’s difficult to know what the filmmakers are trying to say. This vague and painful movie is neither edifying nor redeeming. Abhorrent is advised for NIGHT MOVES.