Seen this trailer? I can almost guarantee that anyone who likes this film has a Tolstoy novel on their shelf that they either haven’t read, or after the first 50 pages gave up when they couldn’t remember whether Karpovoloskaya was the doctor, the maid, or the corporal.
After watching the trailer, my trigger finger got sweaty in a quasi-erotic anticipation of destroying the market demo for talent shows. It feels good to hate. I love hating.
The reason we sympathize with Frank can be summed up in the old adage – my enemy’s enemy is my friend. But Frank is not your friend. You just think he is because the movie is shot from his perspective and he hates who you hate.
We see his kid’s paintings on the wall but when he’s watching tv he’s always sitting alone – which means his wife probably hates him, and left with the kids because he watches tv all night, and jacks off to porn in the basement.
He hates Chloe for hating her dad for not getting her an Escalade, but it looks like Frank really did ruin his daughter’s life by being a shit dad – and yet we somehow sympathise with Frank and think Chloe deserves to die, when, if anyone deserves it, it’s Frank.
Imagine this film the other way around – your daughter whose guilty act is watching X Factor, is shot in the head by a rampaging, lonely middle aged guy, who got his kids taken off him by his wife, is addicted to late night tv, drinks beer, drops pills, and teams up on a crime spree with a loner teenage girl who was never accepted by the cool kids. Ressentiment, much? Yep. And 20-to-life.