Review: “High-Rise” Is A Surreal Journey Into the Human Condition



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Posted May 6, 2016 by

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The opening minutes of “High-Rise” let you know right off the bat what kind of story you’re about to start watching: a dead man with a busted out television over his head, complete chaos serving as the backdrop, and our protagonist, Dr. Laing (Hiddleston), cooking one of the legs of a dog over an open fire. Right as I found myself asking what the hell I had gotten myself into, the film jumps three months into the past in order to start me out at the beginning so I could see the steady decline of what appears to be an immaculate tower block and it’s upper-class inhabitants.

We have seen the story plenty of times of the lower to middle classes forced into poverty and rising up to take on the upper class that is trying to hold their heads under water. “High-Rise”, however, imagines what it would be like if all of the wealthy people finally separated themselves from the less fortunate entirely and the complications that would arise from not having someone to look down on, to feel better than, to lord over. Will they turn on each other? The answer is yes. An adult version of “Lord of the Flies”, ‘High-Rise’ gives you a colorful cast of characters, throws in a mixture of chaos and control, and pits everyone against each other.


Director Ben Wheatley and writer and wife Amy Jump (A Field In England, Kill List, Sightseers) are the perfect team of creators. They continue to pump out interesting films that seem to follow their own list of rules and cinephiles are reaping the rewards Already they’ve proven that they are virtually unstoppable and there’s hopefully so much more to come from the pair. It’s at the point now that when I see their name on something I’ve already made up my mind that I love it; they haven’t let me down yet.

With big names like Hiddleston, Miller, Moss and Irons I knew coming into it that seeing great acting wasn’t going to be a problem. What I didn’t expect was that my favorite performance was going to come from Luke Evans (The Hobbit, Furious 7, Dracula Untold) as Wilder; a documentarian that has a wife and children and a growing distaste for the people that live in the tower block with him. His actions and behavior are the catalyst for the tower block’s eventual downfall and yet you see a part of yourself in him; you relate on a certain level. The character is an honest depiction of all of us: we may mean well, we may try to be a good person, but we all have our demons, our limits, and when those come out or are tested there’s no telling what we are capable of. Love him or hate him, Wilder is going to get stuff done instead of idly sitting by.

Part drama, part action, part I don’t know what, “High-Rise” is exciting to watch.






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