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.