Reviewed By

Christopher Armstead
Adam, as played by Tom Hiddleston, is some kind of rock star living in my beloved city of Detroit Michigan.  Or more accurately, he's a musician of some renown who has a very loyal following even though he doesn't perform concerts or anything like that.  He can't because he's a vampire.  And like any self-respecting rock musician, he's depressed all the time.   He might even be contemplating suicide.

Halfway around the world in Tangiers is Eve, as played by Tilda Swinton, and she is Adam's wife of a few centuries and while on video chat she can plainly see that there is something wrong with her husband.  So she catches the first night plane out of Tangiers… director Jim Jarmusch does a great job of illustrating the transatlantic travel difficulties that come with being a vampire… and heads to Detroit to soothe what ails her husband and this movie 'Only Lovers Left Alive' begins to tell its meandering, generally pointless tale.

Sure enough, Adam is plenty depressed, but he is at least happy to see his wife standing at their door.  He invites her in, because you know, that whole vampire thing about inviting somebody into your home, and the two reminisce about the good times and at least briefly, Adam is feeling normal again.  Then they go for a ride around the ruins that is Detroit Michigan.  If you listen closely to what Adam and Eve are saying to each other, there is a lot of wisdom in those words.

There is a little trouble on horizon however as Eve has had a dream about her little sister Ava (Mia Wasikowska), which means her appearance is inevitable.  Ava does show up at the door, totally doesn't care about the whole 'inviting someone in' thing, and Ava is something else indeed.  She's not so much bad… just very naughty, and her relative lack of self-control just drives Adam crazy.  Adam also has a friend, sort of, in his human gopher Ian (Anton Yelchin) who handles things that a vampire simply cannot do.  Ava meets Ian and she really, really likes Ian.  That Ava is a naughty girl, I tell you. 
Back to the FCU
Let Chris know how Wrong He Is
Don't Be Square...
Like Totally Twisted Flix!

A situation has occurred which has forced Adam and Eve back to Tangiers to meet with their old friend Marlowe (John Hurt) who is not well, and Adam and Eve haven't eaten in an awful long time.  What are hungry lovers to do in this untenable situation?

If one were to ask me What is 'Only Lovers Left Alive' is about, my simple reply would be 'It is a Jim Jarmusch' film, and I'd have to let it rest at that.  If you are an experienced film watcher who has been around the block a few times, you know what that means.  You know, going in, that you will be subjected to a film that is far more cerebral, a movie that you are going to have to watch, because it will be very visual, but also listen to because there will be meaning within the visuals and there will be messages within the words that extend beyond simply what the actors are saying.  You also will know that you will have to be patient and accommodating and after watching this particular Jim Jarmusch film, there may be no discernable payoff for you.  But you already know this if you are an experienced film watcher who has been around the block a few times, when someone mentions the name Jim Jarmusch, and you can make your decision to watch this film accordingly.

If you are not an experienced film watcher and you look at me with confusion when I say this is a Jim Jarmusch film, I'd probably follow up with… 'eh… don't bother'.  Those things I mentioned about patience and whatnot?  Those aren't suggestions, those are requirements.  So while you may be thrilled to watch a vampire movie starring Loki from 'The Avengers', because you like vampires and you liked Tom Hiddleston in 'The Avengers', that is definitely the wrong approach when settling down to watch this film.  'Only Lovers Left Alive' is slow.  It takes its own sweet time to go nowhere in particular.  The story is segmented, almost in the style of an anthology.  Adams's story, Eve's story, Adam and Eve's Story, Ava's Story, Ava and Ian's story, then Tangiers.  With these segments tied together by the characters but not necessarily by a discernable plot.  The film is dialog heavy, and there is power in a lot of this dialog, but it's not extrinsic, it is intrinsic.  The acting is phenomenal and the photography is beautiful, but it's beautiful photography watching characters that really aren't doing much of anything… except when Ava shows up who does a lot of everything.

Ultimately, what I am telling you, is that if you watched 'Only Lovers Left Alive' and you didn't get it, and you didn't enjoy it, despite the high critical ratings and the praise of your friends and others around you whom opinions you respect… don't feel bad, you are okay.  This isn't the kind of movie for everyone, and if one of these friends of yours gets snarky and yells at you for not liking this movie then buys you a 'Transformers' DVD since it's 'more your speed', thank them for the DVD then tell them to lovingly kiss your ass.  I understood what I was getting into when I went to see this movie, and despite all of the things it did well, I didn't like it either.  Sometimes, that's just how it is.
Don't Be Square... Like Totally Twisted Flix!
            Time Web Analytics