Exhausting new film Brimstone, starring Dakota Fanning and Kit Harington, should be half the length and twice as good


THIS should, in hindsight be titled “Brimstone: it’s two and a half hours long folks, tell your bladder to settle in and make it a family sized pack of Doritos”.

Split into four chapters, though not necessarily in chronological order, Brimstone starts with Dakota Fanning playing a mute wife terrified of a preacher (Guy Pearce) who has recently set up shop.

 Brimstone ... should be half the length and twice as good

Brimstone … should be half the length and twice as good

An instant fear takes hold and despite her husband’s protestations, over the next few hours, her fears are proved to be founded.

This predominantly Dutch film suffers from an inability to know when it’s doing something well.

The half of the film featuring Dakota Fanning is great and she hardly utters a word.

Her experience in movie making – paired with Guy Pearce’s volatile take on a God-fearing nutjob – brings some gravitas that is watered down by the other half of the film, which seems intent on attempting to sympathise with the horrific treatment of women by, erm, showing lots of horrific treatment of women.

It feels too fixated on the glamour of gore rather than a fresh perspective.

I also have a problem with the marketing of films that slap a hot name on the cover (in this case Game of Thrones’ Kit Harrington and Carice Van Houten) only for them to play secondary roles (and that’s a push).

Brimstone film trailer starring Dakota Fanning and Guy Pearce

Feels a bit of a con.

All in all, I enjoyed the gist of it – the ideas were all there, the execution was lacking.

This should be half the length and twice as good.

Brimstone (18) 149mins

Rating: ★★★☆☆



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