DEMOLITION

"Losing Focus"

Quality:
Content: -3 Excessive content and/or worldview problems.
NoneLightModerateHeavy
Language
Violence
Sex
Nudity

What You Need To Know:

DEMOLITION stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Davis, a young, successful investment banker who tragically loses his wife in a car crash. While waiting to hear about his wife’s condition in the hospital, Davis tries to get something from a vending machine, but the machine fails to give Davis the product. So, after being informed his wife died, Davis writes a complaint letter to the vending company. The letter gives Davis a chance to explore his feelings about his wife and their marriage, which had become merely functional. Davis decides to literally take apart their life together to understand what went wrong and what he wants to do next.

DEMOLITION is a compelling movie, with a good script and a fine performance by Jake Gylenhaal. Despite the tragic death of the wife, the movie often focuses comically on modern society’s absurdities. However, the story loses its focus when it turns to the troubled life of the teenage son of the vending company’s customer service rep whom Davis befriends. DEMOLITION also has lots of strong foul language, brief drug use and politically correct homosexual references.

Content:

(HH, PCPC, HoHo, LLL, V, S, A, DD, M) Strong humanist worldview finding worth in personal self-examination, but not in any profound way, with a politically correct homosexual subplot about a teenage boy deciding he’s homosexual and getting beat up, but subplot distracts from main story involving protagonist and is rather clichéd; about 47 obscenities (including many “f” words – about half or more) and three GD profanities; light violence includes man and teenage boy demolish man’s house after man’s wife tragically dies, bulldozer demolishes wall of house, car crash, a couple angry arguments; no depicted sex but side female character lives with a man, a past adulterous affair is later revealed, teenage boy decides he’s homosexual and goes to a bar wearing some female clothes and a little makeup; no nudity; alcohol use; smoking and brief drug use; and, protagonist comes close to stalking a woman and unwittingly leads her teenage son astray.

More Detail:

DEMOLITION is a quirky, sometimes dramatic comedy about a young, successful investment banker who tragically loses his wife in a deadly car crash and literally takes apart his life to see why he stopped caring. DEMOLITION has a nice script with another fine performance by Jake Gyllenhaal, but the protagonist gets involved in the drama of a teenage boy who thinks he might be homosexual. As a result, DEMOLITION loses its focus.

The movie opens with the accident. While waiting to hear about his wife’s condition in the hospital, Davis tries to get something from the vending machine in the hall. The machine fails to give Davis what he wants. So, after being informed his wife has died, Davis writes a complaint letter to the vending company.

Davis’ letter is rather personal. The letter, and others that follow, catch the attention of customer service rep Karen (played by Naomi Watts). Karen is in the middle of her own emotional and financial burdens. Eventually the two form an unlikely connection when Karen writes Davis back, and he tracks her down. With the help of Karen and her teenage son, Chris (played by Judah Lewis), Davis starts to rebuild by literally demolishing the life he once knew.

DEMOLITION is a compelling movie, with a good script and a fine performance by Jake Gylenhaal. Despite the tragic death of the protagonist’s life, the movie often focuses on the absurdities of modern life. However, the story loses its focus when it turns to the troubled life of Karen’s teenage son. [SPOILERS FOLLOW] Chris is impressed with Davis and his dauntless self-examination. Eventually, Chris decides that he’s really homosexual, and, when he wears some female clothes at a bar, some guys beat him up and put him in the hospital.

Leaving the issue of homosexuality aside, this politically correct, liberal subplot about the boy takes away the movie’s focus on Davis, including the possibility that Davis will start a romance with Karen and maybe even consider getting married again. The filmmakers should have settled on Davis’ story or done a movie about Chris. The homosexual subplot is also rather clichéd, not just politically correct. Ultimately, it makes DEMOLITION a much less interesting movie, as well as something that will turn off discerning, media-wise moviegoers.

DEMOLITION also has lots of strong foul language and brief drug use.

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