4:44 Last Day on Earth

4:44 Last Day on Earth

[Updated review.]

An array of issues with this for me. To begin in the order of observation, my first problem was one of a incredibly bothersome presentational choice: the montages with the fade transitions were extremely jarring, and seemed very much like an excuse for lazy exposition dumping without the need to leave the primary shooting location. Secondly, and most importantly, the characters and performances: while there’s definitely a worthwhile performance by Dafoe, I really would have appreciated seeing more nuance or consistency. It seemed like his character was continuously shifting identities. For example, early on in the film, there’s a particularly odd scene wherein Dafoe steps out to throw a temper tantrum on his apartment balcony. Not necessarily a bad actorial demonstration, but character-wise, it feels extremely out of place, as it’s the only instance of Cisco behaving in the manner in the entire film. Also, although their predicament sufficiently justifies their behavior, I was unable to take our two protagonists that seriously, again due to how artificial and exaggerated their demeanor felt at times. You’d think that for how thick they lay it on, their characters’ would have an adequate level of depth to them, but I never really found that to be the case. Really wanted to enjoy this, but overall, despite a few affecting moments, 4:44 really missed the mark for me. “Ain’t that a shame.”

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