Ben Wheatley -- he of those very violent movies Down Terrace, Kill List and Sightseers and then of the more modulated, explorative and interesting (though somewhat violent) A Field in England -- is back, this time bringing to the screen a novel about the collapse-of-civilization-in-microcosm by J.G. Ballard that he has directed, the screenplay for which has been adapted by Wheatley's partner Amy Jump. The movie is HIGH-RISE, and I have to say that it is a colossal failure by almost any standard against which you'd care to measure.
Tom Hiddleston, below (in a shot that should give you some idea of the classy design scheme the movie offers), as a successful doctor who has recently moved into a semi-spectacular high-rise building, in and on which the penthouse and roof offer things nearly unseen anywhere else. (You may note, however, that as the building deteriorates, it does not seem to be the same structure that we saw earlier, at least not where that penthouse and roof are concerned.)
Sienna Miller (above) as a slutty single mom and Elizabeth Moss (below, with Hiddleston) who plays a constantly pregnant woman dragging around a huge brood of kids. Add this role to the one Moss is most famous for (remember that first season of Mad Men?), and you have an actress taking her pregnant characters to new heights (or depths).
Luke Evans (below), who pulls out all the stops in the manliness and stupidity departments (though, in truth, most everyone else here proves pretty stupid, too). The film's plot, if it has any, simply shows us the destruction of the entitled upper class and working class aspirants, yet adds nothing to what we've already seen, from Pinter/Losey's The Servant onwards.
Jeremy Irons (below) plays the guy in charge of it all, a surprisingly fit senior citizen, but his character, too, proves a big nothing, about whom the most important thing may be that he likes the color white. His nutty wife is essayed by the always interesting Keeley Hawes (shown at right two photos below with Sienna Guillory), who is interesting here, too, and is given a good deal of screen time to little avail.
Magnolia Pictures and running a way-too-long two hours -- opens on VOD, Amazon Video and iTunes this Thursday, April 28, and then theatrically around the U.S. on Friday, May 13. Click here to view currently scheduled playdates, with all cities and theaters listed.