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Cinemavenger

   The funniest, nastiest movie reviews anywhere.


The Circle


If you can't start a fire in a kindling factory with a gallon of gas and a box of matches, you should probably give up your dream of becoming an arsonist.


I sure as fuck hope that writer/director James "He Didn't Start The Fire" Ponsoldt has a backup plan, because I don't think the "writer/director" thing is gonna work out.  Even with Tom "Gold Standard" Hanks, Emma "1000 Watt" Watson and a bestselling novel as the basis for his screenplay, Ponsoldt couldn't manage a spark let alone a creative inferno.


The Circle isn't just not good.  It's fuckwittedly bad.  It's a stroke victim trying to sing the Pythagorean Theorem to the tune of "Despacito" . . . in Mandarin.


The Circle takes a compelling premise - What if Google fucked Facebook and their unholy spawn grew up to be a patently evil megacorp bent on world domination? - and does fuck all with it.  It's a movie about bleeding edge technology that feels like it still uses a dial-up modem to get its email from AOL.  It even has one 20-odd-year-old say to another, "I'll send you a text," rather than something remotely plausible like, "I'll text you," or just immediately texting the person.


Watson's Mae gets an entry level customer service gig at GoogleBook a/k/a the Circle.  Because she looks like Emma Watson - and because the script is shit - within a month she's sharing the stage with the CEO (Hanks) to tout the company's "secrets are lies" mantra for selling tiny, wireless cameras linked to, well, everything.


Mae doesn't drink the Kool-Aid; she guzzles it.  Weeks after getting hired, she's championing the idea that subscribing to the Circle's services should be mandatory for everyone and that those services should be used for all voting for all elections everywhere.  Then, after a chance meeting with one of the company's founders (played by John "Bodega" Boyega) during which he vaguely hints that one company having all that data and power might not be awesome, she does a 180, pukes up the Kool-Aid and starts to wonder if "going fully transparent" is really the best idea for every man, woman and child on the planet.


No, you stupid twat, it isn't.


The Circle doesn't know if it's about corporate culture run amok, the terrors of unchecked technology, the delicate balance between privacy and security in an increasingly digital world or a young woman's journey of self-actualization.  And it fucking shows.


The tagline for this Circle-jerk should've been, "You've got meh."


August 11, 2017 - Video release review rather than theatrical release review because shine on you crazy Paxton.