Boarding Gate wasn't really a surprise since Olivier Assayas' other recent films, Clean and Demonlover weren't very good. Actually Clean wasn't bad, but like every Gus Van Sant movie, it was nothing new. Boarding Gate's problems are the same as Demonlover, a poorly written script, slow French pacing which makes the movie crawl (which only works if there is atmosphere, instead in both movies Assayas' uses this pacing as a stand-in for atmosphere) and over-hype for depravity.
Assayas' tries to sell sex, eroticism, and violence but has failed to have a significant voice except for Irma Vep (a movie I love). In this movie the sexiness is exuded through costume, through body language, and a lot less talking. Maybe it's because Maggie Cheung is better actor. It's like in poetry where they say show, don't tell. Assayas spends too much time trying to tell us that Boarding Gate is controversial and sexy. Asia Argento can stand around in a bra and panties holding a gun but it doesn't replace the ability to act or action. This movie is short on both. Sure, Argento can coo, and look helpless, and play with herself on top of a desk-- but she lacks nuance to establish anything outside of a cardboard cut-out character. Kelly Lin is an even worse actor- it's almost laughable.
This is a fairly simple story of drugs and big business take-overs, and there should be a lot more action, or at least mood/tension, but it drags on and on. It's pretty to look at, but boring as hell to watch-- I ate a lot of popcorn and restlessly shifted in my seat.
My oh my.... what to say about this disgusting disaster? People warned me not to see it. Sawko even sent me a bootleg copy from Shanghai so that I wouldn't waste money at the box office. Still it was unfathomable to imagine not seeing WKW latest creation on the big screen. Sure it was a Hollywood affair, a road movie no less, but I imagined it would still be worth watching. I was willing to like, as opposed to, love. Fat chance--- this movie sucks on every damn level.
If I say atrocious am I being too kind? First things first, like Assayas the script is undeniably weak. Who would read such a thing and think this equates movie? Even with the most superb actors this movie would still stink!
But let's talk acting. Norah Jones. What you heard is correct. Girl can't act her way through life's simplest task. Apparently girls do or once did find Jude Law dreamy and Norah Jones is pretty, yet here are two attractive people/actors with zero chemistry. Seriously none. Norah Jones is dressed all frumpy and stumbles her way through the movie, always off beat, always mis-timed, always flat. Since she's a singer I expected that she would have some stage presence some charisma but she's got nothing. Rachel Weisz has a pulse (thankfully 'cause she's definitely an actor I think is amazing) but it seems like over-acting(compared to the rest of the dead-beats) Natalie Portman is neither good nor bad and Chan Marshall seems like Cat Power.
Road movies are hard to do intelligently and very few resonate emotionally. Intelligence, emotion, and mood are all calling cards of WKW genius so I can see how as a director he felt challenged to make this movie. Or maybe he wanted to do something light. Whatever the reasoning is this movie has nothing going for it. Same canned shots of sky and road. Same dullness as anytime Lifetime special. I could go on and on, but all you need to know is that everything you'd expect from a WKW movie this is NOT.