Demolition [2016] ★★

 Demolition_poster_goldposter_com_2There are some good moments in Jean-Marc Vallée’s movie about a man trying to deal with the loss of his wife in the most unusual ways. Jake Gyllenhaal plays that man, an investment banker who randomly starts sending complaint letters to a vending machine company. These letters soon turn into a series of confessions about his personal life. Weird? It gets weirder. The problem is that Gyllenhaal’s character, devised by screenwriter Bryan Sipe, is a human trainwreck, and not just because he lost his wife. We learn that he never really loved her, can’t stand his father in law (who also happens to be his boss) and doesn’t know how to “fix” things. And just like a trainwreck, “Demolition” is compelling and Gyllenhaal gives a potent performance (I expect nothing less from him anymore). Unfortunately, the script doesn’t really know what it wants to be and the film has no real pleasure and no resonance. We don’t really come away with any deep understanding of Gyllenhaal’s behavior. Instead, it leaves a bitter after taste. Too bad. I really admire director Jean-Marc Vallée and I’ve always been fond of Jake Gyllenhaal, but their latest effort isn’t worthy of their talent.

Rating: 2/4

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