Before I get this review started, I want to go on record and say that I have always loved Jim Jarmusch’s films. From “Down By Law” to “Limits of Control” I have at least liked every movie of his I have seen. That said, I was disappointed with his newest film, an entry into the over-saturated vampire genre, “Only Lovers Left Alive”.
Maybe it’s because I expect much of such a director. Maybe it is because I had read so many positive reviews. Maybe it’s because I love Tilda Swinton in a “I will watch anything she is in” kind of way, but whatever the case I was let down. The cinematography is beautiful, the acting solid, but the story and character development fall flat and never really had my interest.
Tom Hiddleston plays Adam, a depressed, self-loathing, hipster vampire who spends his days writing music for nobody in particular and contemplating suicide. He hates humans (which he refers to as “Zombies”) and seems to care only about said music and his wife Eve (Swinton). When they speak for the first time in a while, Eve senses his “Condition” is getting dangerously bad and she decides to travel to Detroit, where he lives alone, and care for him. You never get any real back story other than that they have been married for centuries, and that he was obsessed with the beat generation.
The story gains a little bit of life when Eve’s siter Ava shows up unannounced and injects some unwanted excitement into their drab lives. They quickly rid themselves of her spontaneity and go back to whining about humanity. That is basically the rest of the film. No reason for their disposition, no answers, hell… not even questions. Just a “Everything sucks” vampire (no pun intended) and his lost-soul wife. In the end, I just didn’t care.