Wednesday 13 December 2023

REVIEW: Leave the World Behind (2023 Film) - Starring Julia Roberts, Ethan Hawke and Kevin Bacon

Review by Jon Donnis
"Leave the World Behind," the 2023 American apocalyptic psychological thriller film, is a frustrating experience that falls short of its potential. Despite promising elements, the film is marred by a lackluster plot, numerous flaws, and an inconsistent focus that ultimately leaves viewers unsatisfied.

The plot follows Amanda Sanford (Julia Roberts), a misanthrope, and her family as they embark on an unplanned vacation to Long Island. The film takes a dark turn as they encounter a series of unsettling events, including a blackout, mysterious strangers, and the breakdown of technology. As chaos ensues, the family grapples with the realization that a political coup may be unfolding.

The film's strengths lie primarily in Julia Roberts' performance as Amanda Sanford. Her portrayal shows early promise but is unfortunately overshadowed by the film's political overtones. Mahershala Ali delivers an ok performance as G.H. Scott, but the stand out is Kevin Bacon who really should have been given a much bigger role.

However, "Leave the World Behind" is plagued by a myriad of issues. The plot is riddled with huge holes, leaving audiences questioning the logic and coherence of the narrative. The slow pace during the first hour makes it challenging for viewers to stay engaged, and the film's constant shifts in focus contribute to an overall lack of clarity.

One of the most glaring drawbacks is the inclusion of offensive racist overtones that seem unnecessary and out of place. The film's attempt to push a radical far-left agenda through these elements only detracts from the narrative, adding a layer of discomfort for viewers.

The film struggles to find its identity, wavering between different themes and genres, making it difficult for audiences to connect with the characters or the overarching story. As a result, "Leave the World Behind" lacks a satisfying payoff at the end, leaving viewers with a sense of disappointment and the feeling of having wasted over two hours on a poorly executed film.

In conclusion, "Leave the World Behind" fails to live up to expectations. While Julia Roberts and Kevin Bacon deliver noteworthy performances, the film's weak plot, slow pacing, offensive overtones, and lack of a cohesive identity ultimately make it a forgettable and unsatisfying cinematic experience. With a score of 3 out of 10, this film leaves much to be desired. And perhaps you should "Leave This Film Behind".

Out Now on Netflix.