Synopsis

A gritty story of a take-no-prisoners war between dirty cops and an outlaw biker gang. A drug kingpin is driven to desperate measures.

Director

Michael Almereyda

Cast

Ed Harris
as Cymbeline
Ethan Hawke
as Iachimo
Penn Badgley
as Posthumus
Bill Pullman
as Sicilius Leonatus

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by madbeast 2 /10

Reductive

Michael Almereyda once again stuffs a Shakespearean play into modern day society and comes up with an incomprehensible mess. His film of "Hamlet" at least used as its framework an enduring masterpiece with themes as relevant to today's world as when it was written. But "Cymbeline" is an obscure, rarely produced oddity from Shakespeare's canon which employs unlikely plotting centered on obsolete sexual morality which has no relevance to today's world. Why Almereyda thought this archaic chestnut needed to be set in the present day is baffling.

It is up to the actors to inject some life into this dull mess and for the most part, they are not up to the task. Dakota Johnson is stunning to look at as the ill-used Imogen, but gives a one-note performance that is insufferable to watch. Ethan Hawke brings to the evil Iachimo the same dull monotone that he employed as Almereyda's Hamlet. And Penn Badgley makes the gullible Posthumus seem like a refugee from a boy band. Only Delroy Lindo and Ed Harris project the charisma necessary to make their characters interesting, although demoting Harris' Cymbeline from the King of Britain in the original text to the head of a motorcycle gang is unimaginably reductive.

Almereyda seems to have a fetish for updating Shakespearean drama into the modern world and has no issue with pummeling it into a different shape to fit his concept no matter what the Bard's original intention was while writing it. The approach worked intermittently with "Hamlet" but fails completely with "Cymbeline." Almereyda would be well advised to seek out contemporary stories to make films of and leave Shakespeare alone.

Reviewed by aprilmay-75879 1 /10

I made it half way

before I finally shut it off. There art nay words to pray pardon me how awful this movie is.

For the most part I thought it was a joke, or that something was going to happen and it would turn into a real movie eventually. I came here before renting and the summary seemed pretty decent, and the cast looks amazing! The IMDb summary is completely misleading having never heard of this movie before (and now I know why I hadn't). I'm a little upset I paid 4 bucks to rent this. That's 4 dollars and 45 minutes I can't get back. And I'm more upset about the 45 minutes. The summary NEEDS to say something about it being an attempt to modernize a Shakespeare...something - or whatever it was attempting to do. I seriously have never seen anything so horrible in my life - I find it near incomprehensible why anyone would even mildly consider producing something like this. I feel like I should cry a little bit over all the time and money wasted on this mess.

Reviewed by agitpapa-562-1441 1 /10

Vapid pretentious tripe

Playing Shakespeare with various NY accents is like playing Moliere with "Allo Allo" accents. It's just crap. The original Shakespeare, performed at the Globe in London, is a lot like Irish English. It is nothing like the squawky dialects of the colonies. Words like "Thou took'st a beggar; wouldst have made my throne a seat for baseness" sound credible in either the original Early Modern English or in standard Oxford English but in Bronxese, Jerseyese, or Manhattenese they sound simply like ludicrous crap.

If that weren't enough the whole production with its pretentious, foreboding, ponderous atmosphere utterly lacks continuity and energy. It's just a sequence of meaningless lines uttered in incongruous settings by talented people whose desperate attempts to breathe life into this corpse of a movie are more cringeworthy than praiseworthy. Talent ceases to be talent when expended so pointlessly.

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