A puzzled look remained on my face long after I watched the new film, “Suburbicon,” as I attempted to find the actual point of the movie.
One problem — there is no point to the drama that unfolds before the audience’s eyes.
Suburbicon takes place in the 1950s in a utopian community where its residents have little or if any problems. The true nature of this predominantly white society is shown when a black family moves into town. Neighbors and town members soon start a wave of harassment in the hope that they will relocate.
The townsfolk’s hatred of the newest community members overshadows a home invasion where a person is murdered. As things progress, events begin to spiral out of control as the town becomes more and more violent.
Joel and Ethan Coen wrote “Suburbicon” and are known for their weird, out-of-the-box style. This premise of bucking the norm has produced movies that are considered classics because of that quirkiness.
Some of my favorite Coen Brothers movies include “The Big Lebowski,” “Burn After Reading,” and “Bridge of Spies.” However, they have created some films that are just painful to watch like “Hail, Caesar!” and “No Country for Old Men.”
Suburbicon fits right in with the latter. It is just weird for the sake of being weird. When you try to build a home with strange as its cornerstone, it is going to crumble.
Suburbicon is a movie whose story lacks direction like a ship without a rudder, left at the mercy of the wind and the ocean.
The film was tossed about from one person to the next to see what they could do with it to make it work.
At times it seems like I was watching several different movies all at once. There is not one single plot line. Sometimes it felt like I was watching a movie that was looking to make a political commentary about race or the rosy image people have developed about the 1950s. Other times it tries to be a movie about crime and how it can bring down a person in the end.
No clear path defines this story. The story that is there is not well written. It is buried under layers of mindless dialog and has characters people could care less about. A team of editors could not save this and turn it into something great. The best part of this film is getting into my car and leaving the parking lot.
If you need to miss a movie this year, “Suburbicon” is one that fits the bill. Use the 104 minutes to do something, literally anything, more productive like cleaning out your garage.
I give this movie one mustache out of five.
This film is rated R for violence, language, and some sexuality.