‘Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close’ Review: A Decent Story Watered Down By Excessive Emotion

Photo Credit: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/extremely-loud-incredibly-close-film-review-274943

There is a difference between including a tragic event in a story to progress it and forcing the trauma that comes with that tragic event down your throat to get every last tear out of you before the lights come on. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is a movie that has a story, a good one at that, but uses the events of 9/11 to make sure that no one leaves the theater with a dry eye.

The movie could have been very emotionally effective, but there are only so many times you can watch people react to one event when another story is supposed to be going on. The script doesn’t allow this story to take the full focus, despite how interesting of a plot it is. This just leaves the actors to do what they can with the script.

For the most part, the supporting cast is fantastic. Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock do what they can with the roles that are given to them, with Bullock having a lot more of the emotional work. Of course she pulls this off well but her dialogue is pretty awful for the most part. Viola Davis is excellent in her small part, using the same power she has on screen that she used in The Help. But the performance of the movie goes to Max von Sydow, who plays the silent resident in his grandmother’s apartment. His role requires the most subtlety to pull off and he does it brilliantly, taking control of the screen whenever he appears.

Sadly however, the young star Thomas Horn leaves a lot to be desired. Yes, the character is supposed to have some form of Asperger Syndrome, but still, the lack of connection to the audience and the delivery of his lines just make him a character difficult to get behind. He is actually annoying for most of the film. However, I do have to admit that his story wraps up well enough for a decent emotional catharsis in the end.

But despite several good performances and a decent story, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close only ends up being an okay movie. The complete lack of creativity and the attempts to force emotion out of you by using 9/11 comes across as tasteless. But there are some really great aspects to the film that if focused on more could have made this less about milking tears out of you and creating genuine emotion. (**1/2 out of 4)

One Response to ‘Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close’ Review: A Decent Story Watered Down By Excessive Emotion

  1. Dan O. says:

    More irritating than touching, healing or any of the positive things one would guess such a story and cast would produce. This was just a totally manipulative film that tries so hard to be emotional that it almost strains itself and its leading “actor”, Thomas Horn who is probably one of the most annoying kids I have seen on-screen in awhile. Good review Matt.

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