BRWC Reviews: Demolition

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Demolition is a story of loss, love, heartbreak and self-realisation. Jake Gyllenhaal plays a man going through a crisis. Aided by the vending machine customer service representative he has been writing strangely heartfelt complaint letters to, and her transformational teenage son Chris, Davis (Jake Gyllenhaal) literally takes apart his entire life as he tries to understand what went wrong.

Gyllenhaal impresses me in this film. Now I’ll admit, I’m a big Gyllenhaal fan, but I’ll also admit he does produce a lot of similar performances. Yet in Demolition Gyllenhaal gives a little extra than his usual tough guy performance with genuine glimpses of love confusing and terror shining through. Intending to focus mainly on the relationship between Karen (Naomi Watts) and Gyllenhaal, for me, the show is stolen by the dynamic between the collapsing David and Karen’s teenage son Chris, who is struggling with his own identity. Together, through a mutual love of destruction, Davis and Chris find a bond that ultimately allows them both to discover who they are and how to go forward.

The music and direction delivered by Jean-Marc Valee (Dallas Buyers Club) for me are brilliant, and I like the way he pulls the film together with humour and a light-heartedness that is the polar opposite of the films subject matter. Nonetheless, Demolition does have its flaws. The ending and the realisation of Gyllenhaal’s character comes to quickly. Attempts to be profound end up in the usual Hollywood places.

A brilliant start with a great middle turns into an average end that wraps up quicker than I do in the cold. Having said that, I really like what Valee has delivered and was yet again impressed by Gyllenhaal, even is Waats gave a somewhat poor performance. I’d recommend Demolition to anyone who likes emotional tales and a good bit of fun!

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