MOVIE REVIEW: Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Film: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Starring: Thomas Horn, Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock
Directed by: Stephen Daldry

It has been over a decade since September 11, 2001 and many are still reeling from losses experienced that tragic day. The fall of the World Trade Center, as well as the other acts of terrorism, forever changed the world we live in an brought everyone a bit closer together. As they do with any event that people hold close, Hollywood has attempted multiple times to reflect on this event for box office glory. Nothing has worked thus far and their latest offering, an adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close, fails to translate as well.

Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close follows the adventures of a young boy named Oskar Schell (Thomas Horn) who adventures through New York City in 2002 in search of a lock that matches a mysterious key left behind by his father (Tom Hanks) who died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Oskar and his father shared a special relationship, one that involved his father putting together a series search “missions” for Oskar in Central Park, and the boy believes solving this final puzzle will bring him closer to his fallen parent. It is a story designed from the very beginning to manipulate you and your knowledge of that attempt will make all the difference in your viewing experience.

Even if you can get over the schmaltzy gloss that is thickly layered throughout Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close, the film has a plethora of other issues that simply drains the viewer over the course its two-hour-plus runtime. From Stephen Daldry’s choice to direct Horn in a way that causes Oskar to comes across less as endearing and more as a child in need of mental assistance, to the film’s multiple extended monologues that feel stolen from the Hallmark cutting room floor, Extremely Loud continuously misfires on real emotion and instead delivers a series of heavy-handed moments that eventually slow the pace to a crawl only those truly able to be swooned by Hollywood will survive.

Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close wants to be the film that reminds us all how we survived America’s recent dark days, but in the end plays out like an over-budgeted movie of the week with a cast that wastes far more talent than they display. Perhaps the story was just too heartfelt for the silver screen, or maybe Stephen Daldry just could not handle the pressure of adapting its sentimentality, but either way it is the audience that ends up paying the price (literally).

If you want to feel warm fuzzies about the aftermath of 9/11, the original novelization of Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close is a fantastic tale of overcoming odds and remembering those that were lost. If you want to question why you would ever pay money to be reminded of 9/11 while watching known and unknown talent trip over an unappealing script, see this film.

Review written by: James Shotwell (Follow him on Twitter)

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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