FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE YET TO SEE “KIMI”, THIS IS A NON-SPOILER REVIEW.
I’d like to start this review with a question to Hollywood. What is up with this recent obsession with the “agoraphobic women witnessing murders” sub-genre? This Rear Window-inspired storyline is getting really tired, really quick.
WHAT IS KIMI ALL ABOUT?
Now, that I’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s move on to Steven Soderbergh’s new thriller Kimi… the film follows a tech worker with agoraphobia discovers recorded evidence of a violent crime, but is met with resistance when she tries to report it. Seeking justice, she must do the thing she fears the most: she must leave her apartment. So basically, this is The Woman in the Window, but with an Alexa-type device that captures the murder. Now, I appreciate writer David Koepp bringing a little something new here, with the technology and hacking aspect, but besides that, we have seen this all before… and done far better.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE FILM?
I have a lot of issues with Kimi, but I’d like to start off with the positives. Soderbergh always knows how to spruce up a film, and with such a generic plot, this project severely needed his artistic eye. He fills the film with disorienting angles and kinetic tracking shots, that make the movie feel more exciting than it actually is. I also appreciate Cliff Martinez’s nerve-inducing score. The composer also worked on Soderbergh’s Oscar-Winning Traffic and Nicholas Winding-Refn’s Drive… I think his sensibilities fit this type of bare-bones action thriller quite well.
DOES THE BLUE HAIR SAVE KIMI?
And unfortunately, that’s really all I have to say regarding what I liked about Kimi… so. Let’s get into the movie’s many flaws. Although Zoe Kravitz has proven herself to be a magnetic performer (and I am excited to see what she brings to the Catwoman role), Angela is just not a very likable or interesting character. Yes, she’s agoraphobic, has weird ticks about her, and has commitment issues… but, besides that, we are not given much in the way of character development. So, you’re left not really caring a whole lot about what happens to her. As for the rest of the cast, I’ve noticed this with some of Soderbergh’s more low-budget films… but, some of the acting feels very off and inauthentic, taking you out of the action.
And I really cannot get past the fact that this movie feels like the most basic, scaled-back version of what it could have been. We’ve seen this story told a thousand times and it honestly goes absolutely nowhere. The only thing making Kimi remotely stand out from the crowd, is the blue hair that Angela dons… which they’ve done a really good job of promoting in the marketing. But, that’s it… that’s the one thing this flick has going for it… blue hair.
THIS IS FROM THE DIRECTOR OF TRAFFIC AND THE WRITER OF JURASSIC PARK!?
The only way I can wrap my head around how and why the director of Traffic and the writer of Jurassic Park, Spider-Man, and Mission: Impossible… thought that this was a worthy movie to spend their time on… is that they were bored to tears during the Pandemic. This was very clearly filmed during a lockdown or when filming restrictions were heightened, as most of the movie’s main conversations are over FaceTime. And many of the problems that have plagued Pandemic-Era films are glaringly obvious here, maybe even to more of an extent than others. It seems rushed, limited in its production values, and so bare-bones that there’s not much of anything resembling substance here.
And when the credits appeared, I sat there in my seat in pure shock. Was that really all there was to this film? And what exactly was the point? The answer I finally came up with is that Kimi has absolutely no point, at least for the audience. It was clearly just a project to pass the time for its cast and crew until restrictions started to lift. Luckily, Warner Bros. was smart enough to release this solely on HBO Max, because if I had trekked out to the theater and paid money to see this… I would have been very, very angry.
Kimi premieres on HBO Max Thursday, February 10th, 2022.
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