Tuesday, August 7, 2012

CHAINED (2012) movie review

Chained (2012) (1st viewing) d. Lynch, Jennifer (USA)

One shouldn’t even attempt to view this tale of a taxi driving serial killer (Vincent D’Onofrio, looking primed to reprise his Private Pyle character for Full Metal Jacket II: More Jelly Donuts) who “adopts” the nine-year-old son of his latest victim through a realistic lens. Instead, engage it as a twisted, sinister fairy tale, one that exists in an alternate storybook universe where bad men do bad things, children exist in peril, years flash by as needed, and events occur simply because that’s how the story goes. (To do otherwise proves an exercise in frustration and exhaustion at the amount of disbelief suspension required.)

D’Onofrio’s hulking, mumbling menace is a puzzling construct; one wonders how this lisping, inarticulate, intellectually-emotionally-socially stunted creature has eluded capture for decades. (The venerable actor renders a lived-in performance, to be sure, but one that always feels like a performance.) Likewise, our young abductee’s (played by Evan Bird and Eamon Farren at different stages) character never changes, remaining quietly, defiantly human in the face of inhumanity. Considering how much screen time Lynch gives to flashback sequences of emotional and sexual childhood abuse to justify his captor’s madness, one wonders why “Rabbit,” as he is renamed by D’Onofrio, resists a similar path so clearly laid out for him to follow.

But then again, we wonder about a lot of logistical things as the weeks, months and years drift by – a final climactic twist the biggest head-slapper of all – and I wish that the fairy tale approach had been made clear from the outset.

Just whisper “Once upon a time…” during the opening credits. You’ll thank me later.


  1. Bereavement Rip Off

  2. You're not the only one who felt that way...
    Fantasia Day 18
    (scroll about halfway down the entry...)

  3. So, when you live in the middle of nowhere, nobody from the water company goes to read your meter, nobody solicits anything religious or makes any surveys? I doubt it. Besides, a dead body stinks and as much lime as you use, the stench coming through the hardwood floors would have been unbearable, specially with no concrete to cover the bodies.

    1. Pablo, you've just barely begun to scratch the surface of the logistical inconsistencies. Seriously, I was getting a headache from all the suspension of disbelief cartwheels my brain was having to turn in order to keep watching. The "Fairy Tale" approach was the only way I could swallow any of it.