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Only God Forgives Post Release Thread

Quite liked this! Not the easiest thing to sit through, but it has a way of burning itself into your mind. All the pre-release angsting over the mixed reviews turned out to be beside the point. I mean, in what possible world could a movie like this *not* get mixed reviews?

I can see the Lynch/Kar-Wai/Kubrick comparisons, but with all the mannered, symmetrical shot compositions, jarring cuts and brain-poking imagery, the person I was most thinking of throughout was Jodorowsky. It was no big shock when a dedication to him popped up first in the credits.

The first half hour or so is so loose and abstract, it's kind of disconcerting when the story gets going and turns out to be relatively linear and straightforward, in terms of plotting at least. But if Drive was a normal genre movie spiced up with some arthouse sensibilities, this is full on impressionistic arthouse fare hung on the loosest of thriller structures.

It's cool that, for all his avant-garde leanings, it's clear even here that Refn really knows how to make an action sequence pop when he wants to. I've still only seen two of his movies but I'm getting the sense that his cinematic MO is fusing those two worlds in interesting ways.

I have a particular love for the Cliff Martinez score, which is like something Bernard Herrmann might've come up with if you put him in a room with a load of lush analogue synths. And I wouldn't be surprised if the angel of death cop, and maybe even KST's mother as well, become iconic characters if the movie develops a cult following like I think it will.


I'm pretty indifferent about this...bored me to tears, yet I'm not angry at it like alot of people.  I think Refn's problems are in his scripts...he has interesting ideas, but doesn't seem capable of boiling them down into a wholly satisfying narrative like say, David Lynch.  Lynch's films are chock full of abstract weirdness, but have a distinct sense of charm and coherency among all the terrifying madness.  Even if you don't get "it", you still "get it", if that makes any sense.


Loved every second. It spoke to the angry, mad at everything, mad at God side of me that's always searching for answers.

It isn't for everyone, and it wants people to hate it. I just so happen to love it.


Does any one know what the music is from this trailer? Many thanks


Originally Posted by The Watcher View Post

Does any one know what the music is from this trailer? Many thanks

AThank you - this is one of the reasons i love CHUD - the wealth of knowledge and the willingness of people to help - really appreciate it

Just caught this and settling on it being an interesting miss. As usual, Refn is the best visualist out there putting a dent on the mainstream but what was being attempted here, the movie's main thrust, fell flat for me. The God stuff and redemption and evil was hardly substantive enough to get anything out of me. Couldn't care less about any of the characters, or what happened to them. So instead of wrangling with the movie itself, I found myself only getting interested by some of the meta stuff, like how this is probably the best approach to a movie I've seen taking place in a foreign country. I.e. the foreign characters (American movie stars) bumbling around in a world they have no idea exists, and suffering the consequences from those who actually live in it. Just the focus on the Thai actors basically.

What else? The purity of the thing, the lack of a need to compromise with any kind of sanity. I liked that. The focus on cinematic storytelling (however flawed) instead of exposition and dialogue. There are lessons to be learned from Refn stuff. Exposition can be discarded. But other than that, this movie is a wisp of smoke that I am already forgetting about.

EDIT: And as far as Refn's stuff, a HUGE fan of Drive, but I pretty much had a lot of the same complaints for VALHALLA RISING, though the visuals and psycho inducing feeling managed to leave a far greater imprint than this movie. About to watch PUSHER in a bit, let's see where that falls in the spectrum.


Finally got around to this, and while I'd probably but it near the bottom of my Refn list so far the guy's 7/7 in my book (Bleeder and Fear X being the missing entries). Definitely see the comparisons to Valhalla Rising, and while I wouldn't put this in the Hangover II camp of original + Thailand = profit, it definitely seems to be covering similar ground to arguably lesser effect. Still really dug it though, nor can I offer up a rational explanation as to why something this slow and dreamlike works for me while something like, say Enter the Void bores me to tears (run time and hand chopping may definitely play a role). I'll have to throw blame on lack of cinematic vocabulary, but there's just something about Refn's movies that appeal to me on a base, visceral level and this is no exception. That said, I do like that he mixes in more stylized genre fare (Pusher, Drive) with his weirder projects as while I appreciate them, one of these films every few years is plenty for me.


Sorry, I don't have much to add. I dug Drive enough to buy it after I rented it, though it waned on the second viewing. I don't find Refn's movies great pieces of art, but I do enjoy them for the atmospheric tone they set and are there to just sorta take in how you like.

Rabin did a retrospective on this. I'm still convinced this will be a cult movie one day.


There were 4 people in the Theater where i saw this. We shared a look between ourselves completely befuddled.


Confession: I like this better than Drive. Give me "talented director lets his freak flag fly" over "talented director does an expert riff on stuff I've seen before" any day of the week.

EDIT: Rabin's description is perfect - "vulgar and pulpy to an almost parodic, surreal level, yet obsessed with its own fussy artistry." I feel that neatly describes nearly all of the films I like that most people hate.

AWent underway for the first time yesterday and I need a movie to keep me busy--SO OF COURSE ONLY GOD FORGIVES WAS THE PERFECT MOVIE.

I think I like it even more the second time around and straight up think it's better than Drive--a movie I very much love.

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