I was so excited to see this movie, the trailer really intrigued me and I’ve always been a big fan of Jake Gyllenhaal. I was hoping this was going to be better than Netflix’s ‘Bird Box’ which sadly never sat right with me. It pains me to say that Velvet Buzzsaw never comes close to being as amazing as it’s trailer. Only slightly pushes itself beyond the boundaries of ‘Bird Box’. Words cannot express the disappointment I got with this movie.
For starters, the movie is nothing as I imagined it to be and that’s not necessarily a bad thing as what I imagined it to be is by far the worst part of the movie. The first half is a satire on the art industry, almost a comedy at times with Jake Gyllenhaal’s line delivery being one of the funniest parts of the movie.
The second half is straight up ‘Final Destination’ with everyone dying in strange ways to do with this mysterious artwork. The second half is extremely lacklustre, they could have been so creative with the death scenes, mixing them with the unique artwork but everything just felt generic and boring. With only one death feeling creative. However, the half of the movie that was focused on being commentary and telling the harsh realities of the art industry I really did love. When finishing the movie, I wished that the whole movie was like that and they scrapped all the horror elements.
Jake Gyllenhaal’s performance is easily the main reason to watch Velvet Buzzsaw. At times he gives a natural performance and towards the end of the movie he becomes very over the top. With the latter not being a bad thing, I loved both of his performances I loved every scene he was in. I can’t say the same for his co-star Zawe Ashton, whose performances I hated throughout the entire movie.
It didn’t help that her character is so unlikeable, going against everyone’s backs and only looking out for herself. Usually, I don’t mind these types of characters but due to her shoddy acting, I just couldn’t enjoy any of her onscreen presence. I have no idea why John Malkovich is even in the movie, he doesn’t bring anything to his role and barely has any screentime. Any no-name actor could have done. Toni Collete and Rene Russo both give great performances. Collete is a great example of an unlikeable character being portrayed by a great actress so I couldn’t help but like her.
Props to Dan Gilroy because the cinematography in this movie is really well done. One of the biggest problems with the movie is with it’s ending. It tries to have this deep mystery but never really delves into it and by the end, there’s not really any payoff. That’s my biggest problem with the movie is just how much I hated the ending. It feels rushed and there’s never any pay-off.
Overall, Velvet Buzzsaw is an extremely disappointing movie. The story never packs a punch and the ending is really bad. The final 10 minutes feel really rushed. The performances, for the most part, are good, Gyllenhaal gives a great performance but sadly his co-star can never look good in comparison when she shares most of her screentime with them. An underwhelming experience at best.
Velvet Buzzsaw (6/10)
Director: Dan Gilroy
Runtime: 113 Minutes