I just finished sitting through, or maybe better to say suffering from, a viewing of Guy Ritchie's Revolver. It's been said that every bad movie is an object lesson about what not to do. I could probably get three or four such lessons out of this film.
I'm probably not going to bother with a full review of the film right now except to say it is excruciatingly awful — it is a classic example of someone trying to make a movie they think is Deep and Meaningful when they haven't the faintest idea how such things actually work in a film. The whole Meaning of the movie (yes, the capital M is sarcasm) has been deconstructed elsewhere, and Roger Ebert as usual nailed it the first time out. He saw right through it and out the other side.
The basic idea is audacious, I'll admit it: it's a gangster/crime/heist/thriller movie used as a wrapper for a meditation about the nature of the ego, about coming to enlightenment about one's sense of self, or something. The movie's "message" or "insight" or whatever you want to call it is so muddled by the Ouroborosian delivery that it's next to impossible to learn anything from it anyway except maybe that Madonna turned Guy Ritchie into a numerology-obsessed loon.
Here is the problem. The movie contains big ideas but it is not about them; it wastes its time lecturing us about its ideas instead of finding more elegant ways to embody them. To say that a movie is deep just because it contains deep ideas is like saying a joke is funny just because it has a punchline.
The most profound movies, I think, are the ones that contain their profundity in the most direct way. Ikiru is profound. 2001 is profound. Blade Runner, GoodFellas, Naked, The Harder They Come, all of them are profound in some way because they get to basic human truths in ways that don't require a lot of sleight of hand. Revolver is all sleight of hand.
So maybe there's your review after all. To talk more than I have to about this heaping pile of nonsense disguised as entertainment, let alone wisdom, gives me a galloping headache.