Out Of Blue: The BRWC Review. When Detective Mike Hoolihan (Patricia Clarkson) is called to investigate the shooting of leading astrophysicist and black hole expert, Jennifer Rockwell (Mamie Gummer), she is affected in ways she struggles to comprehend. Unfortunately, the audience may struggle to comprehend how exactly such a dull, lifeless and predictable movie such as Out of Blue ever got made. Even if it is taken from the Martin Amis novel, Night Train.
There are a number of things that may pull in an audience to watch Out of Blue. The promise of a cast with actors such as Toby Jones, James Caan and Jacki Weaver may be enough to make some people take notice. However, like most films of this quality, the names in the movie are generally just there to draw in said audiences.
Besides Weaver’s performance (as erratic and uneven as it is), the rest of the supporting cast are two dimensional, not knowing how to play their characters because they simply aren’t fleshed out enough. Patricia Clarkson’s performance may also be explained by the lack of characterisation. Besides her business haircut, dark leather jacket and daring tattoo there really isn’t much to say about Mike Hoolihan and unfortunately, I feel that Clarkson knows this as well, making her come across as bored and disinterested.
Having not read the source material I cannot really compare, but I would like to think that perhaps there were some more details about the characters that didn’t go from the page to the screen.
However, I fear that characters were not the only thing left behind from the novel. As the film attempts to delve into the philosophy of quantum physics, there is a sense that writer/director Carol Morley may have thought that the audience might not understand the science so for the most part this is entirely left out. There is a very surface level exploration of what it means to be human and what defines our existence, but I feel the audience may get a little sick of hearing the same thing repeated over and over again and this may make some feel like they’re being treated like idiots.
The pseudo-science in the script often feels like it is trying to sound intellectual but without really saying anything moving or profound, making the film even more drawn out and frustrating than it already was without it.
Out of Blue could have been a detective story that leant into the clichés with reckless abandon and given its audience an interesting story, great performances and enough to keep them interested. Unfortunately, it fails on all accounts. I feel that perhaps this is not what Carol Morley really wanted to do and so when the opportunity arose, she took it to tide her over until her next project. This would certainly explain the performances from the cast.
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