Summary: Though the film may not have met my initial expectations, the film still is a refreshing piece of violent art in an era of filmmaking where the directors are afraid to take chances and when studios are looking for the next remake or sequel. I find it hard to say I recommend this, because the audience that will appreciate this is very small, but if you are looking for an intelligent action film that will challenge you, I’d give this a try.
Conclusion: Nicolas Winding Refn opts for far more style than substance in Only God Forgives , which renders it a major disappointment following the highly enjoyable Drive . One hopes his considerable directing talents are applied to something less violent and more meaningful in the near-future.
Excerpt: Ryan Gosling can smile, right? Because I think I’ve seen him smile in a movie before and I’m quite sure that he’s capable of doing it again. Ok, so maybe he doesn’t smile in Only God Forgives , but I have to believe that in the future some director will say “Hey Ryan, show us those pearly whites of yours!” and he’ll force the atrophied muscles around his mouth to produce a smile. It’s got to happen.
Excerpt: Nicolas Winding Refn is a visionary—a barbarian poet, a scuzzbucket craftsman with an expert eye for the beauty of the obscene. But is every one of his visions worth sharing? The last time the Danish director manned the wheel of a Ryan Gosling vehicle, the result was a near-masterpiece of genre hybridization. So it’s more than a little disappointing to report that Only God Forgives , the pair’s second collaboration, is no Drive .