Film Review | A Slow Burn: Burn After Reading review

 
 

Burn After Reading fails to fully alight, according to Reidin Vaughan.

The Coen Brothers’ Burn After Reading, gets caught up in its own hype and fails to produce a film that fully satisfies.

The story follows ex-government analysist Osborn Cox (John Malcovich) who, having ‘quit’ his job, writes a memoir, which gets put on a disc along with some household financial files and left behind at the local gym.

Two gym employees find the disc and, thinking it’s important government information, try to blackmail Cox.

The seemingly hilarious set up is confused with the constant switching of genres from mocumentary to spoof thriller. The film should to decide if it is obscure art house, comedy or thriller – because a mix of all three leaves a very bad aftertaste.

It dribbles on until the last third of the movie, setting up storylines that magically come together in the last five minutes. The film’s last line sums up the whole of the movie experience, “What did we learn here? I have no idea, but we won’t do it again!”

The film’s last line sums up the whole of the movie experience, “What did we learn here? I have no idea, but we won’t do it again!”

However, when the film sets it sights to be funny, the cast carries it off beautifully, and more than anyone else, George Clooney shines like the star that he is and Chad’s (Brad Pitt) intense stupidity adds comedic value.

Burn After Reading is a film you should see, but it just can’t tell you why. As it picks up some intelligence towards the end, the storyline captivates you, only to be completely stunned and left with a slight nervous tick upon exiting the theatre.

Rating: 2/5

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