Tuesday, 2 December 2008

What Just Happened Review

Its not a question. What just happened is a sentence of sorts. If it were a question it would have a question mark and then I could make some comment about it being the same thing that I ask myself after watching every single DeNiro movie since Heat. How has the once Travis Bickle, Jake LaMotta and Don Corleone fucked up so coniderably of late. Well you want some good news. He's pretty damn good in this, and seeing as most Bobby films revolve around whether or not Bobby is good, by extension this film is pretty damn good.

Based on producer Art Linsons scathing attack on the business of film (What Just Happened?: Bitter Hollywood Tales from the Front Line, wait a sec that has a question mark...fuck it) DeNiro takes on the Art-esque role of Ben a movie producer struggling with two failed marriages, a director that wants a dead dog and a company exec that doesn't and a petulent, fat, beardy Bruce Willis. Oh and his daughter may have been shagging an agent who killed himself, but thats not really important.

So how come DeNiro has made a film this decade thats not only tolerable but actually very good. Well because he's making a film about something close to his heart (and mine). Namely movies, movies, movies! But will you like it? Probably not. Unless you have an unhealthy obsession will all things celluloid, because all the jokes, all the drama, in fact every bloody thing about the film is about films. Yay!

But then again, good characters and great dialogue ("These drugs are so good you could watch your mother be gangraped and still enjoy the weather") transcend any boundaries of theme and content and What Just Happened has some of both. And while you might not get who each person is supposed to be in real life without resorting back to the source material unless you've been living under a rock you'll get a kick out of Bruce Willis as Bruce Willis with the best beard this side of the one above this review.

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