Detachment review

A substitute teacher goes through the same things substitute teachers go through in every single bloody film about substitute bloody teachers. Except this time there’s an extra special overdose of bullshit.

The film opens with a quote from Albert Camus. Albert bloody Camus. And the pretentiousness is relentless from that moment onward. As deep and intellectual as it tries to be, complete with maddeningly droning philosophising narration, in the end Detachment is a highly unoriginal drama that lives so far up it’s own backside that you would think it’s some kind of TARDIS. Some kind of rectal TARDIS. A rectal TARDIS with nothing of any real substance to say, at least nothing, not one little thing, that we haven’t heard a billion times before.

Aided by a painful script, Tony Kaye, director of the magnificent American History X, puts on a lavish exhibition of arrogance, both in its subject and in its technical application, which includes Kaye being distracted by playing cinematographer (badly) as well as director.

There’s an impressive cast list, including Brian Cranston, James Caan and Christina Hendricks but most of the well-knowns are relegated to pointless cameo roles. It falls on Adrien Brody’s shoulders to desperately salvage any last-chance scraps of worthiness from the wreckage and, thankfully, he does well, with an impressive performance, delivering the film’s redeeming feature, even when he is forced to throw up some horribly cringeworthy dialogue.

2 out of 5

19th Jul 2012 | Official site | On IMDb