Velvet Buzzsaw [2019] ★½

If you’ve seen Jake Gyllenhaal in Dan Gilroy’s terrific directing debut “Nightcrawler“, then you know why I was looking forward to their next collaboration together, this time on Netflix. But unlike their previous film, I couldn’t stand “Velvet Buzzsaw”. I admire what Gilroy was trying to do this time around, but I just couldn’t buy it. Gyllenhaal transforms himself once again to play Morf Vandewalt, a renowned art critic who can’t seem to give any artist a break. It’s obvious that Gilroy is taking aim at the art scene, but it gets weirder the minute the film turns into a supernatural mess. Allow me to explain:  a series of paintings by an unknown artist are retrieved one night. Then, in true “Final Destination” fashion, these paintings enact revenge on those who get greedy. Or something like that. Are you amused yet? I wasn’t. Gyllenhaal does his best to find the fun and the weird in Gilroy’s muddled script. But Gilroy keeps bombarding us with scenes that lead nowhere. Needless to say, “Velvet Buzzsaw” is a misfire and one of the most disappointing movies of the year so far.

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