First things first: I'm a realist.
There are many things I don’t do in movie theatres, because it’s rude, because I hate it when people around me do it, because I think films should get your full attention (especially if you’ve paid to come and have a theatre experience in its honour). Things like using my phone in a theatre, talking to the person beside me, kicking the seat(s) in front of me… or leaving the theatre before the film has ended (other than to go to the washroom, of course). Today, I broke one of my own unwritten rules of the theatre. I stood up at about the halfway point in a film and I left. For reference, I’ve sat through some pretty abysmal films – my friend Paula reminded me that we sat through the entirety of Magic Mike when it was released in 2012 which I thought was about as poor as this film was… which is funny because they have very similar RottenTomatoes ratings (they’re both rated fresh, if you can believe it).
I can’t understate how excited I was to see Chevalier… honestly, this was the film I wanted to see – if I only saw one, this was going to be it, and I think that made it all the more disappointing. The trailer depicted this film as a hilarious movie about 6 men who are stuck on a boat and competing in the most ridiculous contests to determine who is the “Best in General” – contests where points are awarded and deducted pretty arbitrarily for things like sucking in one’s stomach? For tanning one’s legs? Vomiting? Who caught the biggest fish? I don’t know, it seemed like a comedy about men and their tendency to go overboard to ‘prove their worth,’ so to speak. That is not what I got. I don’t care what anyone says, the trailer is strictly false advertising.
Of course, I can’t comment on the end of the film. Maybe it all gets tied together, maybe the pay-off is great? I don’t know. BUT I sincerely doubt that any pay-off could be worth the suffering I endured for the first hour of the film. I was bored out of my mind. I fell asleep for little moments probably about four times. I squirmed in my seat, and not out of claustrophobia or a sense of being unsettled, out of boredom. I was in awe… of how bored I was. The cinematography was… wow. They didn’t know when to cut. We don’t need to see a panning shot of the entire boat that we’ve seen 8,000 times already. We don’t need to see the entirety of a boat making a turnaround, we get the point already! Nothing was funny. Not one character was likeable. The acting was okay at best. If you’re going to make a movie about 6 men having a pissing contest on a boat, you have to make the characters have some sort of relationship, a sort of camaraderie, with each other. I’m not sure how these men knew each other, were related, how they ended up on a boat together. I’m not sure why they were there. Were they working? Were they on a cruise? Vacation? I DON’T KNOW. Nothing was explained.
There was conflict, but I don’t know why or why it matters.
This is a film that I would choose to skip. I would like to go back in time and choose a different film. Needless to say, I am unimpressed.