Only God Forgives [2013] ★½

only-god-forgives-poster-ryan-gosling“Only God Forgives” is perhaps the first Ryan Gosling movie one can honestly describe as boring. Yet it arrives with its credentials of cool all set: A stylish retro-noir look courtesy of Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn (who directed the unforgettable “Drive“) and Gosling again in the lead with badass attitude leftover from “Drive” and “The Place Beyond the Pines“. But unlike his previous effort, Refn has chosen style over substance this time around. Gosling, who barely utters a word here plays a man who traffics drugs in Bangkok. The plot thickens (or not) when his weird mother (Kristin Scott Thomas) compels him to find and kill whoever murdered her first born son. But why should we care about his brother? The man was killed for murdering an underage hooker. “I’m sure he had his reasons”, explains the mother. Nice family. Everything about the movie, from its mood to its creepy characters, may hoodwink fans of the director who won’t stop to explore the emptiness of the movie or its incoherency. There’s style, but no motion. Even Gosling looks clueless. Some may call it artistry and they’re entitled to their opinion. All I could see is pretentiousness. I admire Refn’s direction, as always, but “Only God Forgives” did nothing to me.

Rating: 1.5/4

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