The bar was simply set too high with Campanella’s 2009 Oscar Winner, making this tepid remake feel both ill-advised and ill-conceived.
Ambition can be the enemy of precision. With its multiple storylines and subplots, there is no denying the overarching ambition of Jason Reitman’s Men, Women & Children. What seems to be missing, however, is the attention to detail required to craft a rewarding and engaging film. The good ideas are undermined by ‘Young Adult’ clichés, and the interesting stories aren’t given enough time to flourish. The end result is a messy little film that doesn’t offer enough insight to warrant enduring the melancholy.
Serial killers have provided ripe material for film for several years, both directly and indirectly. Alfred Hitchcock’s seminal horror classic Psycho famously had a lead character modelled after Ed Gein, while David Fincher’s Zodiac notably took a different tack by focusing on an ultimately unsuccessful investigation.