I sold a kidney to get this. I mean it wasn’t mine, but what am I gonna tell the hooker when she wakes up? I’m kidding! She’s not going to wake up!
Director : Chris Evans
Cast : Chris Evans and Alice Eve
So it is a very rare Saturday evening off from work for me and I decided it was about time to mark something off from my saved list on Netflix. I’d be going through a few of them in recent days but were all too relatively well known for the length of time that they’ve been out to review, so I decided to go with a film that is a little different to what I normally review.
A little better known than most of the films I would normally review, “Before We Go” interested me because of the presence of Chris Evans, who is an excellent and likable actor when he is not playing a comic book character. For example, last year’s “Gifted” was at Number 4 on my countdown of films last year. He is one of those actors that may occasionally be in a bad film, but he is rarely poor himself. Whether it is major roles in sci-fi action films (“Push” for example), or a relatively small role in “Scott Pilgrim vs the World”, he is just downright enjoyable to watch.
Having said that, I’m not a massive fan of Alice Eve, who was comfortably one of the more tedious parts of “Star Trek Into Darkness” with a very bland performance. To be fair to her it is the only performance of her’s that I have seen, so I can’t really judge too much.
Nick (Evans) is in Central Station in New York playing the trumpet when a woman (Eve) runs past him, dropping her phone in the process. She misses the last train out and he offers to help her when he sees her stood outside. Initially lying about her name, she eventually reveals that she is really called Brooke and the two go out into the city to find her stolen purse, as well as help Nick get to a party.
The evening doesn’t go as planned and they decided to use their time together to get to know each other, all whilst trying to secure Brooke a trip back to Boston in time to retrieve a note she’d left for her cheating husband, whereas Nick debates whether he truly wants to audition for a place in the band of a world-famous jazzist.
So was it worth having on the saved list?
If you are planning on watching this movie then you should definitely know that this is a very wordy film, very wordy indeed. This is slightly more than 90 minutes of the two characters talking and that is pretty much it. This isn’t the first film of this nature that I have seen and reviewed for this site, with “The End of the Tour” coming straight to mind. The difference between this film and that one is that Jesse Eisenberg and Jason Segal had chemistry in the aforementioned, whereas Chris and Alice just don’t.
Chris is his usual charming self, feeling almost like he could be your friend that is having a very chilled out view on life. It is why I like him as an actor. However, nothing about Alice Eve’s performance strikes me as memorable or particularly impressive. She is not awful, but she is just kind of there, that’s it. She’s nowhere near as bad as she was in “Star Trek Into Darkness”, but there is just something that is not quite there. She almost plays the role as if she isn’t keen on it and is trying to talk herself into it mentally.
In terms of the actual story it is completely meh. It is something that I will remember in a few days, but give it a week or so and I will have probably forgotten everything that I have learnt about the characters over the course of the last 90 minutes. Again, it isn’t awful by any stretch and kept me watching throughout, but there is precisely nothing new and/or unique about the story, the characters or the general storytelling.
The film doesn’t necessarily need to look great as it is a character driven piece, but I have to comment on something that I don’t often talk about and that is the camera work. When I started watching the film I was viewing on my laptop, but as soon as I switched to my 4K TV about an hour in I noticed just how shaky the camera is. I’m not a fan of hand held or shoulder cam films for a variety of reason, I think it offers a horrible experience as they can’t keep still. This is no different and it is almost as if the cameraman is drunk.
Chris Evans is comfortably the best part of a largely forgettable movie. Alice Eve brings an overwhelming blandness to her performance and this ultimately makes her character seem completely irrelevant and forgettable.
Eve and Evans share a distinct lack of chemistry and I felt no real urge to finish a movie that is off-putting thanks to the camera work.
It’s not awful, but it is certainly not good.