Before this devolves into a “THIS IS THE MAN THAT SINGLE HANDEDLY RUINED STAR WARS” debacle I’ll say this: Rian Johnson directed what many people believe to be the best episode in the history of television.
Breaking Bad season 5 episode 10 “Ozymandius” is incredible. He also made Looper, which is one of the best original sci-fi films of this century.
I do not dislike Rian Johnson’s movies because I dislike his Star Wars movie. I dislike his movies because I’m convinced that he doesn’t know what he wants the audience to feel from the movies he’s created.
The Knives Out franchise demands that you shut your brain off and enjoy the ride. It pushes the boundary on cognitive dissonance so far that you would think it’s a franchise about space wizards. It’s not- it’s a murder mystery.
In the first one, the murder is a suicide and the mystery is at whose fault did he kill himself. Ironically, the answer turns out to still be the person that led him to the conclusion that killing himself was the best option; the movie just doesn’t care.
A good girl is good, and a bad guy is bad.
The second movie is more of a “biting satire” than a murder mystery. The villain is a rich white man who profited off of his black wife’s genius, stealing all the credit from her. Ironically, its hero is a gay white man exploiting the same woman’s sister to solve the mystery of who killed her.
This leads to her being shot by her sister’s murderer. This is the point in the movie where your brain goes, “Hold on a second, that’s just stupid.” So you have to tell it to shut up and be quiet- you’re watching Knives Out, you’re not supposed to think.
As it progresses the thoughts become very cyclical: “Oh, come on!”, “Wait, what? That doesn’t make any fucking sense-”, “Wait, why did he do that?” And the answer to every question is: “It’s not meant to, it’s satire!”
The first Knives Out movie was so full of twists and turns that by the penultimate twist, the “she didn’t actually poison him”, I was just tired of it all and just wanted all the characters to die quick and painful deaths.
The Knives Out 2 took it to a whole ‘nother level. I didn’t need twists and turns to make me dislike the absolute caricatures inhabiting the mystery murder island. At first glance, there’s hope that Johnson will peel back some layers, but sadly he did not write in any ogres. These characters don’t change; they don’t develop.
Apart from Dave Bautista’s character, what you see is what you get, and what you get is a pile of garbage that would make striking binmen proud.
Look, I’m not asking for The Usual Suspects. I’m not asking for some sort of masterpiece of cinema. I’m just asking that when I watch this in the comfort of my own home I don’t end up with my hand on my head and my head in a migraine.