Ever feel like watching a film with multiple characters and story arcs, but learn nothing from it, and be surprised by almost nothing? Do you want to have a beautiful setting ruined by awful dialogue whilst you patiently wait for a connection that like socks at Christmas leaves you saying thank you, whilst wishing you wish could scream WHY BOTHER!?. Yes? Then watch States.
States is one of those films that is trying really hard. It does, it tries. It has an attempt. I’m not going to say I didn’t like any of it. An arc in which an enlightened, open to all experiences poet travels across Utah with new age religious semi-cultists had huge potential, but is ruined by a dragging pace in which we see them do weird things several times.
A friendship grow to the point they want bed him as part of a baptism ceremony that leads to a random and out of nowhere drugging that leads to…absolutely nothing except a little minor theft, and bang we’re done, he’s waiting outside a karaoke bar all day, till it opens you say? No…it’s already full when it gets dark and he goes in. I don’t know why he went in there, and I don’t think I ever will. Scene.
States opened with a hugely unlikeable character (Michae Wieck), polar opposites to Richard Linklater’s Slacker who appears to be his inspiration. We see his screw people over miss his bus, all for vengeance. Not that he looks angry, seems angry, or tells us what happened really. Then, he just seems to forget about it.
There’s a woman on the hunt for aliens (Rachel Cederburg) who never finds them, or does much at all except ask our unlikeable pal some questions. There’s self-obsessed actress (Alexandra Esseo who’s arc seems to growing until her unfortunate uber driver mistakes friendliness for sexual advances and then she disappears until he reappears and gets caught up with an assassination that doesn’t link to the plot whatsoever.
Last but not least my favourite character, who I’m going to call crying man, cried on a cliff’s edge until he receive advice from our would be assassin, and either I dozed off (possible) or I never saw him again.
States tries. States has potential. Zach Gayne’s road movie has the inks, it has the crossovers, but nothing happens and no overall picture emerges. State’s is like the driving scenes in Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, aesthetic, retro and an interesting concept, but 109 minutes was too much.
I wouldn’t really give it a plus other than a grade A for attempt, but there was a lack of genuine inventiveness and the characters were as bare as the plot. Unfortunately, I’d say Zach needs to this another go.
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