Zero Dark Thirty (2012) Review
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Zero Dark Thirty is dull and plays out like a very long TV cop procedural. In an attempt to remain sort of removed from the incendiary topic, we get a bland, emotionally detached movie.
Chastain is bad. This is pure soap opera acting and sometimes way worse--- like TV anchorwoman kind of stuff. Her deliveries of some lines of dialog ("don't go outside") are incredibly stiff and just seem like (bad) audition material. The scenes of confrontation with her and her bosses are incredibly uncontrolled (read: sitcom overacting) and forced. She's just terrible. The fact that people think she's good in this shows that people have no idea what good acting is at all. It is clear that she is being awarded because the role is a "strong" role about a determined woman, though what we see on the screen is an unconvincing and teary-eyed eighties sitcom performance.
Jason Clarke is pretty good and has some charisma, as does Chris Pratt. The scenes with them don't seem like they are scenes starring actors who are trying way too hard to be something they are not.
The script is mediocre at best. Instead of any scenes that show us anything about these people or their world it's all procedure. Instead of witnessing Chastain's lack of a social life, we get one scene of her drinking a soda, and have several characters tell us about her lack of a social life. Instead of witnessing her fatigue (which isn't in her performance), her friends tell us she's tired. Instead of seeing Jason Clarke grow weary of his job as a torturer, we are told that he has grown weary of his job as a torturer.
Bigelow should get a new writer, cause this one isn't good, and in the end, we land with the exact same exact point of The Hurt Locker--- that "the people of war" aren't comfortable outside of their missions. And even the mission is cluttered in terms of her direction--- too many cuts and too many point of views.
A really dull and dramatically uninteresting telling of a powerful story.