Movie Review: Bliss9th February 2021
Bliss? Far from it. Grey camerawork and gritty dialogue delivered by the man that voiced Lightning McQueen is never going to fly too high. Attempting to reinvent himself once more as a serious actor, Wilson’s collaboration with director Mike Cahill is a worrying, amateurish film that sees once-prominent actors struggling to deal with their fall from grace. The best audiences can hope for is that Wilson can channel this mid-life crisis into his role as Greg, a divorced man who finds himself presented with new opportunities after losing his job. A man discontent with his career channels his role as best he can, but the mediocrity on display is too much for anyone here to overcome.
Attempting to highlight the horrors of day-to-day business, Bliss opens with claustrophobic, cold characters who are made solely to annoy and harass Greg. Reality bending components are soon utilised, with Cahill feigning any interest in his characters. While it is difficult to know for certain, there is, to some degree, the underlying feeling that Cahill has never met a human being. Had he even the slightest interaction with someone that wasn’t a nodding yes-man or family member, he would hopefully see that the characters within Bliss are nothing like reality. Assuming a faux reality is his aim, it is tremendously engrossing and just a bit hilarious to see these characters attempt interaction.
Reactions and exchanges are the least of the worries this cast must have. With a screenplay this bad, it is a true miracle that anyone involved can take it seriously. Salma Hayek continues her warpath of horror, slotting herself into yet another embarrassingly poor piece of film. Money is the clear attraction for these two leads, or at least the coping mechanism audience members will use when realising this is the start of Wilson and Hayek’s fatal attempts to re-capture past glories. Make no mistake, Bliss is the mere tip of an uninviting, harsh iceberg. Giving way to the cold depths below is inevitable, but for now, the two will ride along on relatively moneyed roles that offer no creativity or emotion they can build on.
Ignorance is bliss, and the incomprehension found in Bliss is unrewarding at best, and insulting at worst. Aside from its aversion and subversion of science and logic, the alternate option presented by Cahill and company is an affront to filmmaking. Had Wilson gotten his hands around my brain stem and strangled it before viewing this Amazon Prime original, I would do nothing but thank him. Do everything you possibly can to avoid this film, it is the epitome of poor filmmaking, all the dense hallmarks of a fading creative grasping at his one last chance are present. Wilson fails to remember, though, that his last chance was a decade ago with Midnight in Paris. He failed to capitalise on it then, and this comeback vehicle is doomed to crash into the tree that is obscurity.