Movies: Review - Cloud Atlas

With lots of story-lines, timelines and characters, Dayvee Sutton reviews Cloud Atlas based on the Best Selling novel by David Mitchell.

Rated R - 172 mins | Sci-Fi - Fantasy | October 26, 2012 (USA)

*originally posted on Yahoo! Movies 

Huh? Wait. What?
Cloud Atlas starring Tom Hanks and Halle Berry is entirely too long. How long you say? 8 minutes shy of 3 hours! Three hours! Did it need to be...I say "No!"

With multiple storylines, multiple lives, and multiple characters played by the same actors, this movie spans the period of 500 years of humanity. In an interview Tom Hanks and Halle Berry said that they played six characters each. At first I found it a pointless gimmick, until one of the themes of reincarnation becomes evident. But that took a while to realize. Also, you will see how these lives eventually come together; but you don't know what their common goal is or how they are tied together for a loooooong time. You get a hint that the mark that some of the people have on their skin is all related, but of all the work you have to do to keep up in this film, it is never explained out right what the mark means. So you just have to use your own judgement and make a logical guess for the meaning.

The ideas of humanity, all people are equal, love and war, martyrs and natural order, the pursuit of truth and even religion are explored. This movie journeys from the past to the future to the present and fantasy future. It becomes evident near the end that people keep making the same mistakes no matter what time period they live in, and human actions have consequences for generations.

This movie was shot all over the world and the makeup and the costumes were amazing. The acting was well done, but all of that could be lost as you literally spend most of the movie with your brow furrowed trying to keep up and figure out what is going on in the movie. I dare say that you nearly get to 25 minutes near the end of it before the themes start coming together...remember this movie is 3 hours long! That's too long to be confused.

The opening scenes is a red flag that you are going to be thoroughly confused in this film: clips of people that you don't know yet, and sometimes don't understand what they are saying; and when you do understand the language, you don't know what they mean. Everything seems out of context for a very long time.

Besides Tom Hanks and Halle Berry, famous faces are sprinkled throughout this movie, like Susan Sarandon and Hugh Grant . Other lesser known American actors and a ton British actors round out the cast. Doona Bae, a South Korean actress, really left an impression on me. Her perfect face and expressions, especially as a fabricated human, were really impressive. David Gyasi , from London, was powerful as he had to play a slave and a leader of a new world.

This film has very little cursing and very little nudity, but the fact is that it does. So it is rated R. But truthfully, the cursing and nudity is so minor and not very significant to the visual part of the story, that it could've been cut out to give it a lower rating ino rder to suit a bigger audience. It does, however, have it's moments of extreme violence.

This movie is the definition of a Sci-Fi fantasy film.
Question for Sci-Fi fans: why is the future always cold and grey with hard metal? If I would imagine the future, I'd want it to be warm and comfortable. Why would anyone want to live in a cold, mechanical the future?

This movie will definitely have fans and there will be a lot of people like me, who really could have lived our whole lives without it.

To check out my video review on Youtube, click here.

To by movie tickets, click here.     

To buy exclusive Cloud Atlas  merchandise, click here.

To watch the official movie trailer, click here.  

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