Robert Pattinson seems determined to differentiate himself from the character of Edward Cullen, and his turn in Cosmopolis is probably the biggest departure from his vampire persona thus far. Pattinson stars as Eric Packer, a young billionaire who takes a limo ride across a futuristic New York City with the intent of getting a haircut. As he worries about his business and investments, he has various interactions with riders he invites into his high-tech vehicle, along with dangerous encounters outside the car as well. David Cronenberg directed the film, and since his distinct style and Cosmopolis are so different from Pattinson's other projects, I thought I'd extend a few concerns for those who are contemplating seeing the film because of the actor's involvement.
- It's not the best Robert Pattinson film. Though Pattinson certainly looks slick in the thriller, this is not his finest acting moment. I blame the script, which is full of theatrical, stilted dialogue that makes the actor sound monotone and robotic. Pattinson isn't the only one whose performance suffers because of it; talented actresses Juliette Binoche and Samantha Morton show up to deliver monologues about the economy or society, and it's about as stimulating as listening to someone describe the dream they had last night.
- The format is unusual. Most of the movie takes place inside his limo (though Packer does occasionally get out for a meal), and each supporting character only shows up for a single scene (save for Sarah Gadon, who plays Packer's wife). Since each person basically comes in and expounds on a subject, it feels like a series of acts in a play, and it also doesn't allow us to get invested in any character aside from Packer.
To find out other Cosmopolis concerns, just keep reading.
- It's pretty bizarre. There's a whole grab-bag of odd scenarios inside the limo. Packer gets an uncomfortable exam while flirting with a colleague, has sex, and pees into a special floor urinal. It should make the ride more interesting, but most of the scenes feel like they're there for shock value. Instead of being titillating, they may just leave you scratching your head.
- It earns its R rating. Cronenberg is known for not shying away from violence in his films, and the same is true for Cosmopolis. Though I wouldn't call it gratuitous, there are a few graphic scenes that had me cringing. On a similar note, there are a couple of sex scenes that show a new side of Pattinson. Let's just say that Bella would be mortified.
Photos courtesy of Alfama Films