The romance between Adam and Chloe begins to fade, but they decide to keep faking it to keep that money rolling in. Unfortunately, this is a big no-no as far as the Vuvv are concerned, which opens the two of them up to all sorts of problems. And then, Chloe and he family sort of recede into the background as the story begins to go off in other directions, none of them particularly interesting enough to hold our focus.
The sci-fi world built for the film, which is a mix of the mundane and the technologically advanced, is solid and feels wholly believable, and the weird-looking Vuvv make for great mundane antagonists. There’s a bureaucracy built into their invasion that proves that humanity can never escape boring red tape, even when dealing with creatures from another planet. The aliens see themselves as benevolent conquerors, but the reality is much harsher for those stuck down on Earth. There’s a great little detail where we learn that the super-rich, living in their floating cities, simply dump their trash over the side and send it reigning down on the have-nots.
Blackk makes for a great protagonist, and Haddish gets some big laughs here and there, but the rest of the cast feels slightly lost, primarily because the story introduces them only to then have them fade into the background. Of the supporting players, only Gandolfini stands out as Chloe’s very angry brother. Still, there’s a playful inventiveness to all of this that elevates the material. It’s best to go in as blind as possible because the film has a habit of introducing new things just when you think you’ve found your footing. “Landscape With Invisible Hand” never quite clicks, but it’s not for lack of trying.
/Film Rating: 6 out of 10
/Film – ‘Slash Film: Landscape With Invisible Hand: A Strange Sci-Fi Story With Too Many Loose Threads [Sundance]’
Author: Chris Evangelista
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January 24, 2023