SAPD Issues Thousands of Tickets for Homelessness

SAPD Issues Thousands of Tickets for Homelessness

News: Data and records obtained by the Current show that between January 1, 2013, and early October of this year the San Antonio... By Alexa Garcia-Ditta and Elaine Wolff 10/22/2014
Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Music: Chris Pérez never saw it coming. “All I ever wanted to do was play guitar,” he told the Current. “I never thought I’d be the subject of an interview... By Enrique Lopetegui 8/28/2013
Alamo Ice House Brings Hill Country to Downtown

Alamo Ice House Brings Hill Country to Downtown

Food & Drink: There was a special kind of draw at Alamo Ice House on a recent Tuesday evening. A handful of weeks after opening its... By Jessica Elizarraras 10/22/2014
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
6 Sinfully Good Grilled Cheese Sandwiches in SA

6 Sinfully Good Grilled Cheese Sandwiches in SA

Food & Drink: Cheesy Jane’s. Multiple locations, If the name is any indicator, this San Antonio staple doesn’t mess around when it comes to... By Tommie Ethington 10/22/2014

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email


Ryan Gosling’s ‘Only God Forgives’ is a Vapid, Bloody Mess

Photo: Courtesy Photo, License: N/A

Courtesy Photo

Not even Ryan Gosling could save Only God Forgives.

Languid to the point of stupor, Ryan Gosling perpetually stares far off into the distance throughout this hyper-gory art-house noir pageant, as if he’s attempting to peer beyond the infinite; perhaps he’s trying to gaze into some other, better film.

Only God Forgives is a somnambulistic walking tour through a surrealistic Bangkok hellscape dripping in blood and sweat and rendered in gloriously rich reds and blues so cool they may induce frostbite. A masterpiece of production design and technique, the movie is also an epically awful exercise in pretentious pseudo intellectual claptrap, curiously devoid of likable characters, coherent plotting or any real meaning.

The usually intriguing Gosling takes his smoldering intensity to absurd lengths as Julian, a haunted, borderline sociopath, who is hiding out from his painful past in Thailand, disguised as a kickboxing trainer, bar owner, and occasional enforcer for his family’s drug trafficking business. When his even more unpleasant brother Billy (Tom Burke) casually decides to murder a teenage prostitute, he is turned over to Police Chief Chang (Vithaya Pansringarm)—a pitiless avenging angel who dispenses brutal justice with robotic efficiency. Chang’s solution is to allow the girl’s father into the fresh crime scene where he is invited to bash in Billy’s skull with a bat. Chang then promptly and ruthlessly punishes the man for letting his daughter slide into debauchery to begin with. Both Chang and Julian maintain the same stoic expressions whether hacking people to pieces with swords or singing karaoke.

The only actor allowed to breathe is Kristin Scott Thomas as Crystal, Julian’s reprehensible mother and the venial head of this mini-crime syndicate who briefly jolts the sleepy picture into life. She smokes like a Krakow chimney and swears like a merchant marine. She hurls racial slurs, uncharitably compares her children’s penis sizes, and charmingly refers to Julian’s hooker pseudo girlfriend as a “cum dumpster.”

With no one to really relate to or care about and nothing fresh to say about the nature of violence, the film just drifts along through increasingly longer, pointlessly pretty takes and into more scenes of torture, mayhem, and dismembered limbs, all set to a droning synthesizer.

Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn has swiftly established himself as the most polarizing waste of early promise since Adrian Lyne, though with this excessively vapid entry he’s edging into Lars Von Trier territory—a desolate island where most critics refuse to take your work seriously anymore. His previous collaboration with Gosling was the highly contentious Drive, an aggressively stylish film that gets a little worse with each repeated viewing. It is difficult to imagine the black mood that would induce one to sit through this particular unholy mess more than once. The only forgiving aspect of this ponderous artistic misfire is its run time, which is a surprisingly merciful 90 minutes.

Only God Forgives

Writ. and dir. Nicolas Winding Refn; feat. Ryan Gosling, Kristin Scott Thomas, Yayaying Rhatha Phongam, Vithaya Pansringarm (R) Opens July 19 at the Bijou

Recently in Screens & Tech
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus