HIGH-RISE

— by Jeff Schultz

This nasty, unpleasant, oversexed, absurdist allegory uses a deteriorating (to say the least) modernist high-rise apartment building as a metaphor for class warfare. The 1% live on the upper floors and (literally) look down on the 99-percent. As the “barbarians” rise up, civilization’s thin veneer is stripped away and everyone turns into the feral animals that deep down we all really are. Or so the movie would have us believe. As the Spirit of Capitalism, or Megalomania, or whatever, Jeremy Irons lives on the top floor, ultimately presiding over his own destruction. Tom Hiddleston, a doctor, finds himself caught in the middle. Think SNOWPIERCER meets THE COOK, THE THIEF, HIS WIFE & HER LOVER, and although it has its moments — including the best fistfighting beat-down since the elevator scene in DRIVE —it’s too long, with long stretches between the good parts. Looks great, though.

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