Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - LIFE -

there are the film’s un­in­ten­tion­ally funny bits, thanks to the tooob­vi­ous writ­ing. Less amus­ing are the stereo­types it tends to per­pet­u­ate. Se­cret Ser­vice agent Mike Ban­ning (Ger­ard But­ler) saves the day al­most sin­gle­hand­edly yet again, this time pro­tect­ing US Pres­i­dent Ben­jamin Asher (Aaron Eck­hart) from ter­ror­ists.


Jake Gyl­len­haal plays Davis Mitchell, a young in­vest­ment banker who’s on the phone with his boss as Demolition opens. Filmed in a se­ries of jan­gly, dis­ori­ent­ing close-ups, the se­quence re­veals that Davis is in a car be­ing driven by his wife, Ju­lia (Heather Lind), who’s won­der­ing when he’s go­ing to fix the fridge. A study in the ex­as­per­ated minu­tiae of the rea­son­ably happy mar­riage, the scene ex­pertly ratch­ets up the ten­sion, so that even its fore­gone con­clu­sion ar­rives like a paralysing blow. What en­sues is a some­times bizarre, self-con­sciously quirky por­trait of a man re­con­sid­er­ing his life’s pur­pose, the foun­da­tion of his mar­riage and his in­escapable sense of alien­ation from a world he can only per­ceive through de­struc­tive, shat­ter­ing metaphors. This is a movie that seeks to defy most Hol­ly­wood-sanc­tioned rules, tak­ing its un­steady pro­tag­o­nist on an in­creas­ingly er­ratic jour­ney in­volv­ing dra­matic de­tours and in­creas­ingly un­set­tling out­bursts, cul­mi­nat­ing in an im­pres­sively staged episode when the ti­tle comes into floridly lit­eral play.

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