Spectacular visuals. Low-grade everything else.
Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run) and the Wachowski Siblings (Formerly brothers, before Larry Wachowski received a sex-change operation, and turned into Lana Wachowski) team up for a movie that shouldn't get the budget that it got, the hard work of everyone involved including it's cast and enormous group of visual, and otherwise, people, putting there extensive time and effort to produce a film of such monstrous magnitude. Leaving the theatre, after sitting through all of Cloud Atlas's relentlessly ponderous and superficial 172 minute-running time, you don't exactly hate it. Well, you don't really like it, but you don't hate it, either. You don't like it, but, than again, you really just simply dont know what to think of it. The movie is interwoven with several segments of storylines, including a lawyer travelling to the coast via a ship in 1849, and witnessing first hand, what the effects of slavery and brutallity on the very people forced to commit to slavery are put through; A young homosexual musician who is brought to work for a top British Composer; a journalist in 1970's San Fransisco, who attempts to publish the truth about what is happening behind the conspiracy of a power plant; A kind elderly book publisher who is forced by his cruel brother to live at a horrible mental facility for the old, and is tormented by a sadistic, and hideously manly female nurse; A robotic-human fabricant fastfood worker (say that five times fast) who is seeked out by a small group of rebels who try to use her to expose the corrupt world that they find themselves living in; and, exhaustedly, the final story concerns the lives of a group of survivalist colonies in a post apocalyptic world, fending off a much larger group of savages. Now, all of those stories sound like they have nothing to do with each other, and the film doesn't just play all of these stories in the order that I just constructed them in. No, Cloud Altas seems fit to run the whole gammit of stories at us, constantly, and, unfortunately, inconsistently, cutting back and forth between every single storyline. Now, this film has polarized critis, it has polarized viewers, and it has polarized me, and, it saddens me to say this because I will always be a lifelong fan of the Wachowski sibling's Matrix trilogy, but Cloud Atlas is not much more than a overly ambitious, messy, monotonous bore, and that it will not get any better if you watch it a second time, nor will it make any more sense during a second viewing, because you must strain hard enough just to hear or even understand large snippets of dialoge throughout this nearly 3 hour film, that, finally, you just simply must give up, and give in to this sluggish little monstrosity of a movie. Now, when I mentioned much earlier about this films cast being excellent, I was not kidding. Stars such as Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Ben Wishaw, Jim Sturgess, Hugo Weaving, Keith David, Susan Surandon and Hugh Grant; populate this silly, far-too-overconfident mess. Now, if you have seen the films adds advertising the nice polished special effects and action sequences and still cannot fully bring yourself to the belief that this film really should be Rated R, well, than, I urge you to sit through this mess and tell me that after: Cloud Atlas features multiple scenes of brutal violence, including, but not limited to, many, many throat slashings, entire vilages being massacred with severed heads visibly seen on pikes, suicides, shootings, futuristic gunfights and battle sequences, threatening lives of several elderly people, and more, with lot's of spurting and gushing blood visible during nearly ever occurance of said violence. Also, strong sexual content is abundent, here, as well, with four sex scenes: One features lot's of loud groaning and yelling but with no visible nudity, the second only features both participants chests, shoulders and back, but ends with implied oral sex on the woman, the next is light-hearted and features a young couple interupted by her parents and allows us to see her bare back and his bare chest and legs when he comically covers his genitals with a cat, and, finally, the last sex scene is incredibly graphic, with thrusting, moaning and shots of bare breasts, buttocks, legs, chests, arms and abdomens; add to that some brief bare breast nudity out of context and one very explicit visual innunedo, and I think that you get the picture. And, finally, Cloud Atlas contains extremely sporadic moments of pervasive language, including several uses of f--k, sh-t, c-nt, h-ll, d-mn, b-tch, p-ssy, bloody, ruddy, and more. So, Cloud Atlas is absolutely not a movie to walk into and view casually, as it drags on to an exhaustedly monotonous level, and, will likely bore, me inlcuded, very heavilly. Not Reccomended.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking