Friday, September 11, 2020

The Devil All the Time Review: A Faithful Exploration of Characters and Religion

Release date: September 16, 2020
Running time: 102 minutes
Starring: Robert Pattinson, Tom Holland, Jason Clarke 

The Devil All The Time takes us to the backwoods town of Knockemstiff, Ohio where young Arvin Russell (Holland) grows up surrounded by evil forces that threaten him and his family.  This includes an unholy preacher (Pattinson), a twisted couple living out their dark fantasy, and a crooked sheriff.  Set during the World War II and the Vietnam war eras,The Devil All The Time creates a seductive and horrific landscape that pits the just against the corrupted.

Without a doubt this all star cast is an instant draw for this film as this array of talented individuals is certainly capable of doing something special.  And the cast of The Devil All The Time did not let down.  There were strong performances up and down the board but Tom Holland really was the standout.  As he continues to grow and impress with his performances, this role allowed him to step outside his comfort zone and star in a film that we normally don't see him in.  I also have to admit that Robert Pattinson as the preacher in this film shows again his versatility and why he should be respected as an elite actor.  And Jason Clarke is among the best of them in Hollywood.  His character in this movie was crazy and really elevated it.  

But even with good performances this movie was a slow burn. With this movie being a little over 2 hours it felt like every bit of it.  At times I even considered if the movie should of been a series as it really gave me Quentin Tarantino style of story telling minus the gore.  It has the classic narration style along with a score primarily using a violin that complements the set locations well.  I also tend to think movies with long runtimes always have parts that could be edited down: there is always some fat that could have been trimmed.  The opening backstory of this film is certainly beneficial to the development of its major characters' psychology but possibly could have been shorter as it put emphasis on aspects that did not seem needed.  And even with a really good build up and development of character I still was left wondering what the overall purpose and message of this film was.  ANd more importantly if this long runtime was worth the payoff.

The Devil All the Time explores faith, religion and the church. We see all characters being tested as well as how their decisions under the Devil's delusions can lead to sin. The film has a good theme, story, and plot that eventually comes full circle, so it is up to you if you have the time to check this one out.  The Devil All The Time has some amazing performances from leads, deep characters, and tempts you with its exploration of faith, religion, and choice.

Rent it.

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