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Fearless

"Pretentious" and "pseudo-philosophy" are both words which I'd use to describe the film Fearless. Though the main character does change by the end of the film, he's so unlikeable and arrogant throughout the rest of the film that it's nearly impossible to like him. I wanted to like this film, really, but its glaring flaws just made it so mindlessly stupid.

The film revolves around Max Klein, a plane-crash survivor with a new lease on life. Ever since the incident, in which he saved so many lives that he became known as "The Good Samaritan ", Max's ideas on life, death, and what it means to truly live have drastically changed. This veiled blessing, however, slowly begins to make Max alienate his wife and child as he continues to follow his new way of living.

The premise, along with the first act of the film, is really interesting. We're given a good character with an interesting dilemma that drives the story - it should mark the start of a pretty good movie. However, as Max becomes more and more reckless, he also becomes less and less likable. Because of his new-found beliefs, he makes the stupidest of actions that are just so ridiculous. He leave his wife and ignores his child because they "don't understand the meaning of life"? How pretentious is that? How incredibly arrogant and self-righteous is that? Believe me, though, these actions don't even begin to describe some of his later actions, such as colliding head-on into a brick wall. Why did he do it? To prove some small philosophical point. It just irks me how unlikable the character quickly becomes.

The visuals are also pretty mediocre. They're not necessarily bad, but it just "looks" like a typical 90's drama. If you've seen your handful of '90's dramas, then you'll understand exactly what I'm talking about. The color sheen, the way the film's shot, etc. etc.

I'll admit, however, that Jeff Bridges turns in a great performance despite how unlikable his character is. The man's a great actor, and he captures Max Klein here just as easily as he's captured other well-known characters of his, such as The Dude from The Big Lebowski. There are a few other good actors in here, such as John Turturro and Benicio del Toro, but none leave the same impact as Jeff Bridges manages to, again despite his character.

Also, despite how much I disliked the majority of this film, I thought the last few minutes of Fearless were pretty touching. The flashback to the initial crash, the shocking nature of it all, and Bridges' peaceful calm really make that scene stand out in the film. So much so, really, that those ten minutes would make a better short film than this feature-length film was.

Preachy, arrogant, and filled to the brim with unlikable characters, Fearless is a condescending and hypocritical film that claims to understand how one should live his/her life and the beauty of the world. While it may know a bit, it's hard to look past the pretentiousness of the film to really care about what it has to say. There are a few good elements, such as Jeff Bridges' performance and the plane crash sequences, but Fearless is an overall poor movie.





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