The Fifth Estate … Go try Escape Plan instead! [REVIEW]

The Fifth Estate. Courage is contagious. One thing is for sure, people enjoying this film won’t be contagious ….

Slow. Boring. Uninteresting.

A few words that came to mind as I left the cinema this evening (and whilst watching the film).

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I came home to a power cut, so thought what better excuse to run off to the cinema. Having no way of checking the times I took pot luck. A few other choices such as Runner Runner or Filth or Enough Said were there, but I couldn’t be bothered to wait 2 and a half hours for them to start. So I was down to Escape Plan or The Fifth Estate. I had intended to go see The Fifth Estate at some point, and couldn’t bring myself to go into Escape Plan … although I now wish I could have. Watching Sly and Arnie break out of prison would have been far more entertaining!

The Fifth Estate tells the story of Wikileaks and its creator Julian Assange. Although, I’m not entirely sure what the story was trying to achieve? Which isn’t great after sitting and watching it for 2 hours! Now, I didn’t have a huge knowledge of Wikileak’s story heading in, but knew enough to be interested. I now know very little more having seen this film.

It seems to briefly touch on points, but never giving the audience much to take hold of. I was expecting to go in feel some excitement, but there is absolutely no tension in this film at all. Even when the film tries to build it, it fails miserably. The music is mis-timed and misjudged, in fact adding very little, if anything whenever it is used.

What perhaps is most disappointing is that there is no chemistry at all with the cast. Benedict Cumberbatch, who everyone seems to be raving about recently was meh at best, and Daniel Bruhl who I praised for his performance recently in Rush also was uninspiring. I just didn’t care about these characters.  The acting was very wooden, and maybe some of that can be blamed on the poor script, but the performances were very lacklustre and the relationships between characters was almost non existent, and ultimately forgettable in my opinion. In fact, I can’t even remember any other character’s name! Two, or maybe it was three others join the Wikileaks team, but it just sort of happens, not much depth is put into this arc in the story, and there is focus on two government officials, whose names I never picked up on, and still am unsure how they actually progressed the story – don’t even ask me about the source the female government official was interested in, who he was, what he did – there was a little back story about some sort of party … I don’t know?

Sorry, who are you guys again?

Sorry, who are you guys again?

It may seem that I wasn’t paying enough attention, maybe I wasn’t. I tried, but there is nothing of interest happening that warrants attention to be held. Which is strange as this should be such an interesting story, based on the real events. This was just a very poor effort from everyone involved. Now, I know I said I didn’t have much prior knowledge, but I am sure this isn’t a fair reflection of what happened … it must have been more interesting than this portrayal.

The films tagline isn’t really relevant. ‘You can’t expose the world’s secrets … without exposing your own’. This hardly even plays into the narrative. It is given maybe a 2 minute nod in the last 20 or so minutes of the film. I can’t decide if the film was so boring and they knew it, that they thought this might jazz it up a bit and entice people in … or the tagline was thought of first and then right at the end of shooting they suddenly thought “Sh*t, we forgot to mention that!” so just threw in a few extra lines of dialogue.

The film tries to be clever, or maybe deep (I’m not sure which), by having the flashes to the empty room full of desks and dropping the characters into it every now and then to show the emotions they are having. I can see what they are trying to do, but it doesn’t really work. This along with the quick cut transitions throughout the film and jazzy location name screens seems like the kind of crappy ideas you get in a sixth form Media Studies class that you think will look amazing. They don’t. I was in that that sixth form Media Studies class. They just look crap. Don’t get me wrong though, I’m not bad mouthing Media Studies, it is actually a lot more work and effort than most people care to think … but I digress.

At 2 hours 4 minutes, this film outstays its welcome by about that same amount of time. I won’t be watching this film again and I don’t recommend it to anyone.

A measly 2 out 10 (1 point for each hour of my time this film wasted)

Maybe you should go and chance Escape Plan instead!

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