The Safdie Brothers, of whom I had never heard until this week, direct this neon-soaked, indie thriller that manages to be both highly tense and hilarious.
Robert Pattinson who, since the end of the Twilight franchise in 2012, spent his time drifting through a series of average to crappy big budget flops, has finally found himself a decent role.
Pattinson plays Connie Nikas, a poor guy from Queens who decides to rob a bank with his mentally disabled brother, Nick (Benny Safdie) and make a new life in Virginia. When the robbery goes wrong, the shit (and the film’s plot) hit the fan as Connie spends one bizarre night doing everything he can to raise enough money to bail his brother from prison.
Pattinson finally leaves Edward Cullen in the dust as he rampages through New York, breaking into a hospital, chasing after an acid filled bottle of Sprite, and beating the hell out some undeserving security guard. Fortunately, the scene where Connie gets over friendly with a staffy was (mostly) cut.
I was never ‘Robsessed’, but after seeing this film I have to admit that Pattinson has some serious talent. He plays the frantic paranoid antihero perfectly, becoming more desperate and dangerous as the film races on. Benny is equally great, but doesn’t get enough screen time; a few more minutes of Nick enduring prison life would have added to the immediacy of Connie’s side of the plot.
Then there’s Ray, played by Buddy Duress, the substance abusing repeat offender who Connie accidentally breaks free. Ray’s character is vital as it brings some comic relief, mostly in the form of hazy flashback, into an otherwise heavy and disorientating movie.
For something with a bit more original content than Jigsaw or Justice League, have a Good Time.