*Originally written June 30th, 2017*
I'm pretty in shock and what I've just seen, but for all the wrong reasons. Labeled as a "Netflix Original" in the UK, it really earns it place as another piece of garbage to add to Netflix's horrific library of mostly terrible original films among their much better TV content.
The Circle is a huge misfire and a waste of everyone involved. There's a genuinely interesting story here, with some very strong and relevant themes that are squandered in such a lifeless mess. From its cringey dialogue its abhorrently lazy ending, The Circle is just 110 minutes of wasted potential.
Emma Watson's character is horrific, despite giving an okay performance. Her character changes opinion from scene to scene with no real rhyme or reason. I feel like there is a director's cut somewhere that actually fills in why Watson does the stuff she does.
Its themes of online privacy are done in such a heavy-handed, naive and transparent way. It feels like a poorly done episode of Black Mirror. Black Mirror was never a subtle show, but this makes it look like deep arthouse. The script feels like it was written by young teens writing an essay about cyber security. It's filled with so many cringey and embarrassing things.
It's weird I mention that it felt like it was written by teens, because this does feel like a YA novel adaptation at times. It's all so lame and millennial. It feels like its trying to be a smart film for dumb people. Which it is. The Circle thinks it's a smart film, but its not. It's retarded. Almost like an after school special on "The Dangers on Online Security and Privacy".
Some moments have some real tension and life to them, but are made pointless by the Watson's bipolar character changing her mind every few scenes for reason. Annoyingly, The Circle never really takes a side, it lands on one at the end, which is one of the laziest things all year, they shove viewpoints as to the pros and cons of all of it, but they never really explore anything. It's all very hollow and boring, complete with flat and lifeless direction. This film was made by a real jobber.
I almost completely forgot to mention Tom Hanks and Bill Paxton (In his final role) are in it. Hanks is you know fine, doing his Hanks warm thing, but Paxton was decent as Watson's disabled father. I wish he got a better film to end his career on, but sadly, that's not how the world works.
The Circle is pathetic, a heavy-handed, childish and poorly done excuse for a cyber thriller that wastes some true potential. The most you'll likely get out of this is a few cheap laughs at the cringey dialogue.
The Circle is streaming now on Netflix UK
Watch the trailer below:
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