Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Nobel Son. D

'Nobel Son' opens with a man getting his thumb cut off and sealed in ziplock bag. It then introduces the imperious, sneering Eli Michaelson (Alan Rickman) whose son Barkley (Bryan Greenberg) has been kidnapped. Eli, always boasting his accomplishments and insulting others, has just been awarded the Nobel Prize. His son's disappearance disrupts the festivities as Eli and his wife Sarah (Mary Steenburgen) must return home to find Barkley. 'Nobel Son' epitomizes jigsaw plot structure. It's constantly in motion and pushes across a new twist in what seems like every scene. This movie is an incoherent mess. Clearly trying to be funny, it comes across as gross more often (and the few laughs that Rickman ignites fizzle out after his character gets so sick his mere presence on the screen makes our stomachs churn). To its credit the film handles itself pretty well during the first half hour or so. But it goes on far too long and any sort of fun it managed to build vanishes pretty fast. 'Nobel Son' also suffers from an identity crisis, trying to pull too many strings all at once. Part comedy, part action, part caper, part heist, the movie crosses too many genres together and tries so hard to be eccentric that it inadvertently became phony in look and feel. 'Nobel Son' has ambitions. Just too many of them. It's a contrived, perverted experiment that makes you glad when the final credits role.

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