Movie Review: “High-Rise”

Tom Hiddleston, Luke Evans, Sienna Miller, Elisabeth Moss, Jeremy Irons, James Purefoy, Keeley Hawes
Ben Wheatley

Producer Jeremy Thomas has been trying to bring J.G. Ballard’s acclaimed novel, “High-Rise,” to the big screen for almost 40 years, despite many claiming that the book was unfilmable. He probably should have heeded those warnings, because while Thomas finally got his wish with the help of director Ben Wheatley, the resulting product is a stylish but empty adaptation that doesn’t resonate as much today as it would have in the late 1970s, the dystopian setting of Ballard’s Thatcher-era satire. In many respects, it feels like a movie lost in time. Though Wheatley has shown great potential with some of his earlier films, “High-Rise” is yet another disappointment following the tedious, psychedelic head trip of “A Field in England” that hooks you with its intriguing premise but slowly loses its grasp as the story spirals out of control.

Tom Hiddleston stars as Dr. Robert Laing, the newest resident of a luxury apartment building that has all the conveniences and commodities of modern life without ever having to go outside. But while the high-rise seems like paradise on the surface, Laing notices a simmering tension between the upper-class tenants who live on the top floors and the middle-class tenants confined to the lower levels. The building’s reclusive architect, Anthony Royal (Jeremy Irons), chalks it up to “teething problems,” but when an increasing series of power outages and structural flaws begin to affect the standard of living – particularly among the poorer residents – that tension boils over, leading to a literal class war that devolves into a barbaric wasteland of debauchery and destruction. Oh, and the odd barbecued dog’s leg as well.

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Premium Hollywood talks to the guys from “Get Him to the Greek”

Jonah Hill and Russel Brand.

Get Him to the Greek” could easily become this summer’s “The Hangover,” a rollicking comedy filled with enough laughs to keep you out of the heat for an hour and 49 minutes. Bob Westal at our entertainment blog, Premium Hollywood, had a chance to catch up with the cast from the “Get Him to the Greek” as well as the film’s director, Nicholas Stoller.

“The big movements of this story really locked into place pretty quickly,” Stoller said. “I knew that I wanted to go to London, New York, Vegas and LA. I knew it needed to end with a threesome. There were like a few things I knew very early on — ‘I’m building towards this threesome, how do we get there? Really, every movie should end with a threesome. That’s my comedy theory — it’s in Syd Field’s Screenplay. ”

There you have it. Three of the world’s greatest cities, two of comedy’s funniest people, and a director (who’s not in porn, mind you) who just came out and said his whole film is “building towards this threesome.” Check out our “Get Him to the Greek” review to see how Stoller pulled together the summer’s first solid comedy.