Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Review: The Current War (Director's Cut)

Release date: October 25, 2019
Running time: 107 minutes
Starring: Tom Holland, Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Shannon

Originally released internationally in 2017, the Current War finally gets its U.S. domestic release as a Director's Cut; a new cut of the film coming two years after it was originally scheduled.  The film details the battle between some of the most prolific inventors in modern history to determine the standard of America's power infrastructure.  On one side you have Thomas Edison (Cumberbatch) who champions direct current (DC) power; on the other you have George Westinghouse (Shannon) who is a proponent of alternating current (AC) power.  If this sounds dull well, don't worry, the battle between these two powerful men is electrifying to watch.  As the feud plays out there is intrigue, deception, some huge egos, and some wonder as America is pulled into the modern age.

Although the story is about America's power infrastructure and the men who ushered it in, the main draw of this film are the actors.  Cumberbatch does an exceptional job as Thomas Edison.  I was worried that the film would sand down some of Edison's rough edges; but thankfully the film pulls no punches.  Shannon's Westinghouse is the perfect foil to Edison, a man only interested in letting his work speak for itself and with no desire for the spotlight.  Throwing in Nikola Tesla (Nicholas Hoult) adds some additional intrigue to this fight as a third brilliant inventor whose ideas also help to shape America's future.  And finally, Tom Holland is great as Edison's assistant who knows much more about the man and his inventions that he initially appears.  

The story is slowly paced but I appreciated that about this film.  It gradually introduces the main characters and events that led to the competing standards, with a slow methodical pace to match the scientific progress in the film.  I wish it would have delved even deeper into some of the science behind these inventions and where the knowledge came from, but it does provide enough explanation to give the viewers the main ideas behind the dispute.  However, speaking of the story, the film is only "inspired by true events."  That flexibility with the facts allows for a very entertaining film about these great men, but makes me concerned with what liberties were taken to Hollywood-ize the story.  But that being said, this film does a good job of introducing the main players and telling an interesting and entertaining story; this will hopefully lead to people reading more about these individuals and their feud.

The Current War takes an interesting struggle and powers it with an all-star cast; it tells an entertaining story that sheds some light on the race to illuminate the United States.

Watch it

No comments:

Post a Comment