Child 44 (2015)

Pros
  • Truly captures the intense and frightening nature of postwar Russia
  • Provokes some emotion.....mostly because everyone in the movie is a stone cold savage
  • A gritty/raw overall tone
  • Tom Hardy

Cons
  • The Russian accents are incredibly thick and difficult to hear
  • The killer is revealed far too early and with little to no motive
  • Too many plot lines going on at once, the story the trailer promised (the serial killer thriller) is put on the back burner
  • Not a single likable character
  • There is barely any actual detective work to build suspense or intrigue
  • Completely rushed finale, not to mention anticlimactic
  • Closing scenes are incredibly sappy
  • One of those movies where the trailer is ridiculously misleading (and/or better than the actual film)
  • Grossed $3.3 million on a $50 million dollar budget!

Score: 4/10

The main problem with Child 44 is the narrative is split into two stories. On one hand, it's the serial killer mystery (the one the trailer promised) and the other is the Russian government hunting down Tom Hardy's character (the one the trailer kept hidden). The problem being the serial killer storyline is hardly established/relevant to the movie, and the other storyline gets too much attention. From what the trailer gives us about the movie, I expected a tense mystery thriller with a pretty frightening story (a killer running rampant in Russia). Instead, the movie skimps over this story by basically using it as a backdrop for the other story of Tom Hardy's accent vs Russia. And when we finally come to a close as to who and why the killer does what he does, it makes little to no sense and couldn't be more disappointing. And before you know it that plot point is over and we're back to Tom Hardy dodging the back MGB.

And like I said, the serial killer mystery is second string while the government/spy story is the main force. And that's too bad because this story just isn't at all interesting, especially when you keep waiting for the other story to take over. To put it simply, there was just too much going on for the movie to make it thrilling. The movie is based on a book and like a lot of adaptations, the book didn't translate well to film.

Do not go into this movie expecting it to be anything like the (pretty damn great) trailer, Child 44 is flat out too long and extremely short on thrills. There is almost no tension to speak of (certainly none involving the serial killer storyline). Maybe I went into the movie expecting something different and that could be my fault, but what was put on screen was nothing short of disappointing. It's unfortunate, but this type of story had so much potential and completely falls flat.

Comments

  1. I agree - this film bored me rigid and I can't remember the last time I looked at my watch so much in a cinema. An utter dud despite an impressive cast.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah I was checking my phone while watching it multiple times. One of the most boring serial killer movies I've ever seen! Glad to see I'm not the only one who thought it was totally underwhelming!

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