Adaptation Review – Yet another Spike Jonze classic

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Spike Jonze is great, isn’t he? He blew me away with Her and surprised me somewhat with Being John Malkovich. I’ve had very high hopes for Adaptation and was thoroughly pleased with my viewing. It’s basically the standard he set with Being John Malkovich, which is ironic since the two movies are technically related to one another.

With Nicolas Cage leading the movie with a double bill of a performance as two brothers, it’s nice to see him hone in on some proper acting. A rare occasion indeed, but Cage kills it in this starring role as Charlie and Donald Kaufman. The dynamic between the two is intense, fun and for the first hour or so of the movie, the best part.

The movie is full of familiar faces but I don’t entirely remember what they were doing or why they were included. Brian Cox shows up for a very brief five minutes and propels the plot in ways only he can, by which I mean he picks up the trailing second act of the movie and hurls us head first into the final act. A lot of turning points within this movie rely on side characters who are only there for a short while. By all means does Adaptation spark some interest, but sometimes it wasn’t enough to keep me fully invested.

Whatever Meryl Streep was up to, I didn’t really care. She was driving around in a truck, doing drugs or at least I assume that was the style of her character. For all the strengths of her performance it’s entirely forgettable. Maybe with a bit of stronger writing for her scenes this could’ve been avoided, but a lot of the focus seems to have gone solely onto buffing Cage’s performance up.

Although I enjoyed Adaptation, it definitely feels like the weakest Jonze film I’ve seen. That’ll probably change on account of Where the Wild Things Are existing, but until I watch that I can’t comment. A fun, wild and extravagant experience that has a lot of interesting pieces to it. A strong Cage performance and a fairly underutilised Meryl Streep make this a strong movie to keep coming back to at least once or twice.


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REVIEW OVERVIEW
Adaptation
Ewan Gleadow
I've been writing for various different places for roughly four or five years now. Currently focusing my writing on film reviews, politics and occasional game reviews. Hopefully you enjoy my work, be sure to contact me if you have any criticisms or praise.

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