You can’t expose the world’s greatest secrets without exposing your own… Chicken stuff
Here I was, sitting all handsome and thinking Benedict Cumberbatch could do no wrong. Oh how I was terribly mistaken.
The Social Network The Fifth Estate is the story of recent events surrounding the infamous, secret-exposing website wikileaks and its “mastermind” Julian Assange. Sitting at 128 minutes, this flick feels strongly like Coke Zero to Pepsi Max. The Fifth Estate is a product that comes from great brands, but it just a crappy knock-off in the long run.
I sat back with what I wouldn’t call high expectations, but at least slightly elevated ones as I knew I would be seeing such great actors as Cumberbtach, Anthony Mackie, David Thewlis and Stanley “friggin” Tucci. Even with merely slightly elevated expectations, I was let down on all fronts.
For those under rocks or away from computers, The Fifth Estate follows the exploding rise of Wikileaks, a sight dedicated to exposing the aweful truth behind governments and their lies and wrong doings towards the people of this world. Along with the rise of this site, they follow the rise to infamy if Julian Assange and his relationship to those who helped him most. Josh Singer’s writing of Assange was very undecided. For the first 20 minutes Singer paints Assange as a maverick-saint working to better the world, and for the remaining 108 minutes, he does his best to make him look like the world’s biggest scumbag.
On to the nitty gritty!
WHAT WORKED: (not much)
– The acting is pretty much the only thing saving this movie. Most noteworthy, is ol’Ben Cumberbatch. This guy really transformed himself into that albino looking european. His dark, soulless eyes help you detach from Assange anytime you start feeling any sympathy and help remind you that the character he is portraying is batshit weird.
WHAT DIDN’T WORK:
– The soundtrack. Is this flick just trying to be cool and hip with a heavy electronic sound? Most of the time it felt the scenes were taking place in area’s with DJs just because they wanted obnoxious technodribble.
– The Pacing. This film is jumpy. You have no perception of time until some character mentions a timeframe on camera. Not to mention how many scenes lagged when cutting at least 30 seconds would have made a tighter moment. I know I keep comparing The Fifth Estate to The Social Network, but when The Social Network lingered in a shot it was to build emotion, not just have an extra 12 seconds of “wan wan wan wom wom wom dubdub dubduuub.”
– The look. I know the world is filthy and decrepit. But even the scenes held in US political environments felt dirty rather than skeezy or corrupt.
The Fifth Estate will hopefully be forgotten about within 6 months. Any film that openly reference’s itself in the last four minutes and isn’t doing it to be meta or tongue and cheek deserve to be slapped. With the exception of supporting the fantastic actors in this flick, you shouldn’t even look at the poster or box-art. Instead go see A later Harry Potter film, BBC’s Sherlock or The next Hunger Games film.
The Fifth Estate gets The Toilet!