film reel image

film reel image

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Naked Singularity 2021 * * Stars


"My client pleads not guilty". So says the lawyer who later holds a samurai sword like he's FN-2187 with a lightsaber. I'll get to that later. 

Anyway 2021's Naked Singularity is directed by rookie Chase Palmer. Rookie mistake. Chase loves his out of place musical score, his penchant for butchering the cinematic form, and his close-ups in spades. As for the title, well I suppose it sounds cool but it has nothing to do with the crux of the movie. Taking place in NYC, "Naked" gives us the best performance of Brit John Boyega. Considering that I don't think he's much of an actor, that's not saying a whole lot. 

Naked Singularity has a decent cast with Boyega, Bill Skarsgard, and Tim Blake Nelson being the standouts. Their scenes between each other crackle with John Boyega's character being the one that needs the tough love pep talks. After all, he's the ransacked counsel who's otherwise yielding. 

Holding one's hand aside, Naked Singularity is about a public defender (Boyega as Casi) who decides to change sides from attorney to drug deal raider in order to supplement his weak income. "Naked" is part comedy, part court drama, part SVU conch, and part neo-noir constituent. What a freaking mess. It probably needed a script supervisor, an editor, and a storyboard artist to replace those that were already on the job.

But hey, it could be worse (could it?). "Naked's" Big Apple look is palatable and the acting is tolerable considering that everyone fades in and out like darkness and light. But why does Naked Singularity have plot holes the size of the Grand Canyon? And why does "Naked" strive but fail to be the film The Lincoln Lawyer already was? That question wasn't asked and answered when the end credits rolled. "Singular" unipolar. 

Written by Jesse Burleson

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