November 26, 2013 by Laird
Only God Forgives is a psychosexual meditation upon self-annihilation and the mother who eats her young. Refn is moving across the same territory as Miike and McCarthy. Gosling is Refn’s young Max von Sydow with a Bangkok backdrop instead of a Swedish icefield. For those reviewers who became bored and agitated during the scenes of quiet, I humbly submit that Fincher MTV jump cut visuals have altered your brain chemistry in disadvantageous ways.
It is no surprise that this film has polarized audiences and critics. This is pure, unadulterated noir and that’s akin to drinking paint thinner, neat. We North Americans have forgotten the taste, though Ellroy tries and tries to remind us. Hollywood has simply handed us so much implausible redemption, our brains have turned to mush. We want our thrills and our frisson and then we want everything to be good again. Clean.
You probably aren’t going to like this, but watch it anyway. It will give you a new dark marvel to contemplate, or something to carp about, at least.