Movie Review: In Vino15th April 2020
As I try and ween myself back into a somewhat productive and consistent schedule, there are always gaps I need to fill in my schedule where there’s nothing relevant or modern releasing. Downtime between releases has grown in the past few weeks, and I don’t exactly see that fixing itself. As such, the quality and consistency of film is taking a real downturn, or rather, the contemporary pieces of film I’m watching are becoming worse and worse. Case in point, In Vino, a film that can be boiled down to what would happen if Knives Out were crafted by an amateur theatre troupe and borrowed tokenisms from the Adam Sandler comedy Murder Mystery.
Ed Asner, who you may know better as the leading voice in Pixar’s Up, features somewhat prominently throughout In Vino, presumably as a hook to those that may be mildly interested in what he’s been up to since that defining role. Unsurprisingly, the answer is not much at all, as In Vino sees him play family oligarch Charles. A man with a near infinite amount of wealth for reasons beyond my comprehension, Charles finds himself on the receiving end of a poisonous drink at a dinner party that unites his family. They’re told they have one hour to kill one of them, with the remaining family members receiving their share of Charles’ fortune.
For a film so consistently based on its comedic premise and the dynamic between this group of characters, it’s absolutely startling that not a single one of them is interesting. Nothing more than caricatures of basic premises that would’ve been better suited to low brow comedy films. Intrepid wastes of space gather in a vacuous hovel to moan and spill details of each and every squalid personality trait the characters have stapled to their forehead. Offensive on the grounds that it doesn’t try whatsoever to even make itself unique or moderately interesting, all characters provide us with five minutes of backstory and then linger around the murky, poorly lit set like they’re waiting to be evicted from an ominous Big Brother house.
Unfortunately, there is no such luck, we are not spared the burden of losing any of these characters along the way. Not a single performance within (including Asner) has any effort put into it whatsoever. The fact that this isn’t a straight to television movie is a startling realisation that even the most primitive, untalented bunch can slide their way into handling a camera. The product is ultimately a sloppy piece of nonsense, a drab undertaking of a story provided to us with greater interest in Rian Johnson’s Kinves Out. At least that had proper actors, not this dishevelled choir of reprehensibly dire, inconsequentially useless actors who would be more suited to a travelling circus tour than a movie set.
It’s safe to say that In Vino is not the greatest movie, far from it actually. Not a single merit is available anywhere within, a truly disgusting piece of work that makes the worst films of the past few years look like works of great, philosophical art. A film that manages to make Tall Girl look like the epitome of the romantic comedy, a movie that gives Cats a good launchpad for claiming itself as a prominently successful endeavour in the field of musical filmmaking. In Vino is at best terrible, and at worst, disgracefully bad filmmaking with not a single enjoyable factor to be found within its gruelling ninety minutes of running time.