‘The Devil All the Time’ Film Review: What Was the Point of It All?

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“It Wasn’t That Bad, Mama”

Have you ever invested your time into something only for you to question the reason you did it in the first place? “The Devil All the Time” is a gruesome and slow-burning film that doesn’t know how to take off.

Overview

A young man tries to protect the ones he loves in a town full of cynical characters.

A Diamond in the Rough

Arvin (Tom Holland) delivers a very solid performance so much so that he’s missed while not on screen. His casting allowed for at least one character for audiences to really root for.

Most other characters are just not great people or just aren’t very interesting.

Falling Flat

None of the “villains” in this film justify their presence. Audiences will struggle to find any antagonists that they even understand. These characters are given no motivation and practically zero backstory. They just commit horrible deeds.

The only sort of exception would be the Rev. Preston Teagardin (Robert Pattinson) and only because of the actor’s performance. Any antagonist introduced is pretty early forgotten. Admittedly most of the characters just aren’t too memorable.

Sticking to its guns

Shortly into the film, you’ll learn that no one sticks around for long. Characters drop by flies throughout the movie so much it just becomes predictable.

The creators of “The Devil All the Time” do stick to their message that evil is everywhere. In the church, the police department and, just your everyday civilians. You’re beat over the head with it so much that it gets tiresome knowing the outcome of a scene as soon as it begins.

We’re waiting…

The pacing and length alone of this film makes it a pretty difficult watch. Over an hour into the picture not many events worth mentioning even occurred.

“The Devil All the Time” spends much of the film jumping around in time. Even if you’re paying attention it wouldn’t be surprising if you end up being confused.

From time to time the narrator will jump in to give exposition and it feels overabundant. A story shouldn’t need a narrator popping in often to explain what’s happening to the viewer. However, without that exposition most would just be lost throughout.

Conclusion

What was the point of it all? That’s the question that comes to mind as I watched the credits roll. From predictable conclusions to forgettable characters this film is a mess.

Even with a superb performance from Tom Holland, not even that can save this picture. The story goes everywhere and really loses the audience. Nothing feels like it happens organically just more events occur so that the plot can continue.

Evil is everywhere and throughout you’ll see that the story was written to emphasize that. Eventually, it feels insulting because of how many times they choose to share the same message.

Finally, the movie just felt too long. The same job could’ve been accomplished in significantly less time. That also would’ve allowed for more exciting moments and maybe a more focused plot.

Verdict 4.5 out of 10 Stars

‘Onward’ Film Review: A Heartwarming Sense of Déjà Vu

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“‘I think, with a little bit of magic in your life, you can do almost anything.”

From the world-renowned Pixar comes a new adventure filled to the brim with excitement, amusement, and deep heartfelt moments. While the story itself doesn’t reinvent the wheel it still serves its purpose as an entertaining animated film.

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Overview

Two teenage elf brothers Barley (Chris Pratt) & Ian (Tom Holland) must set out on an adventure to spend one more day with their late father. Along the way, Ian must practice his newfound skills while their mother Laurel (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) attempts to get them back.

Magical Chemistry

While the plot is straightforward, along the way are some memorable characters and beautiful locales to boot. Holland & Pratt have both shared the screen together before so it’s not surprising that they play off each other well. From beginning to end I believe in their relationship as people who truly care for each other.

Barley would do anything for his brother and it’s expressed without shoving it in the audience’s faces. Laurel also plays a bigger role than expected in the film, in fact, there weren’t any characters that bothered me while they were on screen.

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Going into the film I believed it would entirely be about the two brothers but I was wrong. The movie benefits from having other characters with big roles. Even some with small roles give the film some added spectacle and its satisfying to watch play out.

World Building Done Right

From the opening shot, the audience is aware that their world is similar to ours except it’s filled with magical beasts. From unicorns digging through the trash like raccoons to centaurs riding in police cars, this magical land has been brought to the modern world.

To see these creatures placed in such an environment is refreshing it’s not where you’d expect to see them.

ONWARD

Same Old Same Old

While the overall idea for the film is fresh this isn’t an animated tale that breaks the mold. At the end of the day, it doesn’t tell a story that most audiences haven’t heard before.

However, that doesn’t make the film bad the idea of a family being able to reunite with their dead father is a story that I didn’t think I’d see from Pixar. At times the film really tugs at some heartstrings and it touched my heart. That’s a mature theme that I’m sure will leave audiences surprised that the film dealt with that.

While it’s great that most will be able to connect to the movie on an emotional level that doesn’t take away the fact that there is manufactured tension between the brothers. In most animated films at some point, the main characters will have a little bit of a falling out.

ONWARD

Everyone watching knows that they’ll make it up to each other and it’s just a matter of time before they do. I’ll love it when one day writers decide they don’t need to have something separate from the main characters in every film. It’s just exhausting at this point.

Conclusion

The idea for Onward to mix the modern world with magical characters was great. With plenty of sight gags as well as all the magic sequences the film just wouldn’t be the same if the story took place during a different time.

The film is entertaining, to say the least, and the chemistry between Tom Holland and Chris Pratt is strong from the very beginning. Their characters are both some of the best parts of the film and having them on screen together makes the movie even stronger.

Onward doesn’t tell a story that most people who have seen a film before haven’t seen. Many of the story beats are copy and pasted from other films. While I’d prefer for completely new ideas most animated films do fall into the realm of not being entirely original.

Even though the film isn’t too innovative that doesn’t make it non-enjoyable. It’s fun and adventurous you feel like you’re joining the characters on their quest. Not only that you truly support the main duo because at the end of the day who wouldn’t wanna see someone special they lost even if it was only for a day.

Verdict 8 out of 10 Stars