Night Moves Review

“…fascinating to me to see the mindset of these characters that would take such an extreme measure to prove a point.”

Yesterday I watched the movie Night Moves, and I thought that it was pretty good. Night Moves stars Jesse Eisenberg and Dakota Fanning as two environmentalists who want to enact a change in the world the only way they know how, an act of terrorism. This movie does a good job of showing the skewed view of the world many people have, especially people with causes they feel need to be addressed. Now I’m not shitting on people for doing what they believe in, but this movie shows exactly why it is important to go about your actions while thinking rationally.

Night Moves starts off with a few scenes involving both Jesse Eisenberg and Dakota Fanning. It isn’t until later that you discover that the two don’t know each other very well and have only recently met. It would have been nice to get a sense of this in the beginning of the movie, because after that information is revealed I felt like I was left scrambling to re-watch scenes in my mind and think about how the characters acted in terms of this. That being said the acting was good. All parties involved did a good job at conveying that they were in kind of in over their heads with this operation, and Jesse Eisenberg did a phenomenal job at the end of the film. One thing about Jesse Eisenberg’s character that I didn’t understand is why that motherfucker was always so angry. Honestly, every second that guy is on screen he has a scowl on his face. I understand that it would be stressful for the character, but he should learn to smile more. That’s not a slight against Eisenberg himself, I just thought that it was a strange choice for the character that was never explained. The score in this movie was also very well done. it was not at all intrusive, many parts of the film being punctuated with silence instead of music, but it did a great job of being atmospheric. The movie itself had pacing that was pretty slow. I don’t necessarily see this as a fault, because I feel that it was intentional. The movie is slow which allows you to bask in the characters for all that much longer. There are many scenes where the characters don’t say much to each other, but even then you are learning volumes about relationships and feelings that the characters have. Never once was I bored while watching the movie, but it wasn’t super intense the entire time either. It was more fascinating to me to see the mindset of these characters that would take such an extreme measure to prove a point. This brings me to my biggest point of the review, I couldn’t really relate to the characters. I understand that not every movie needs to speak to me on a personal level, but throughout the movie I found myself just not caring what happens to the characters. The terrorist act that the characters commit is blowing up a dam. They are blowing up a dam because they hate the fact that people “have to keep their iPod running all the time, at any cost”. Jesse Eisenberg’s character says something interesting in the movie. This isn’t a direct quote, but you’ll get the gist. When discussing the plan to blow up the dam, he mentions that it will “make [everyone] think”. This essentially means that he wants to blow up a dam just so people will start thinking about the environment. That quote was interesting to me because it shows how skewed the characters views are. When he blows up the dam, people aren’t going to think about all of the harm it was doing and then magically start being environmentally conscious. Everyone is going to think that your are a fucking moron and a criminal for blowing up a dam. And guess what? everyone will forget about it in a week and then a new dam will be built, and you will be (possibly) rotting in jail for committing a crime. That quote goes hand in had with a quote that Dakota Fanning’s character made at the beginning of the movie. When talking to a filmmaker she asked something along the lines of “So you bring up problems in your movie, but what is the big solution”. She was kind of chastising the filmmaker, who was only trying to help, by essentially saying she wasn’t making a difference. The filmmaker responds with ”I don’t think there is one big solution, there are just a lot of little ones.” This shows a conversation between someone who thinks through things rationally, as opposed to someone who doesn’t. This is exactly what I’m talking about when i say that the characters in this movie definitely have a flawed outlook on the world, and it was very interesting to watch.

Overall Night Moves is an interesting movie with a message (whether intentional or not) that I thought was pretty well executed.

I give Night Moves a B

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