I am someone who loves their bed; I love to be in it and hate to leave it. Because of this a film has a lot to answer for when I am forced (by nobody other than myself) to attend a screening that starts at nine o’clock on a Saturday morning. Night Moves was off to a bad start before it had even begun.
Night Moves is the low-key portrayal of three environmental activists (Jesse Eisenberg, Peter Sarsgaard, and Dakota Fanning) who plot together to blow up a dam in an attempt to reclaim a river for the sake of the salmon because according to Sarsgaard people never think of the salmon when they want to charge their iPod (I’m paraphrasing here). The film itself is not preaching an environmental message however, in fact the film is not trying to do a whole lot.
None of the three characters in Night Moves are well-developed or particularly likeable so my connection to them was minimal at best. This is a film not focussed on character, imagery, or a message but one that simply shows the events unfolding in the least interesting way possible. This is a completely humourless film with nothing to say that showcases its actors at their least charismatic.
Every scene in the film feels perfunctory as we witness the characters carrying out some task or other before, during, and after their act of sabotage. The film does not waste time exploring things like the motivation of the characters or the real consequences of their actions and even when we are supposed to be witnessing them struggling with what they have done all three members of the group come across as quite cold.
I don’t have the energy to write much more about Night Moves as the film itself simply doesn’t try hard enough. Here we have a film that is not funny, moving, tense, or scary; this film just left me empty and it is nowhere near artistic enough to be this dull.
Night Moves screens at the festival on the 15th, 16th and 17th October.