Car crashes and crime scenes are what he lives for.
When Lou (Jake Gyllenhaal) discovers a group of camera crews who film news-worthy mayhem during Los Angeles’ late nights, he jumps into the crazy world of “nightcrawling” – a profession where the bloodier or grislier the footage, the higher the payout by news outlets.
His job soon becomes an obsession for anything bigger and better. Nightcrawler chronicles’ Lou’s – an already creepy character played with no emotion by Gyllenhaal – journeys down an even darker path, putting the “shot” above the risk of danger – and even others’ lives.
Nightcrawler is an eerie film, and supremely weird – but not always a good “weird.” It brings up a lot of compelling themes and powers through an excellently-crafted final act, but it’s never quite sure what kind of movie it wants to be. What’s left is a messy mismatch of themes and styles, never willing to fully commit to anything it sets out to do.
Nightcrawler is a sleek, intriguing, thriller that wants desperately to make us think about how we get our news. But it ends up a bizarre, jumbled mess of a movie led by a character who’s, quite frankly, uninteresting because he never changes. He never grows more creepy or less creepy. He’s just there – creepy. And while Jake Gyllenhaal gets to have a lot of fun with the role, that doesn’t really make for compelling storytelling.
Nightcrawler is rated R for language and violent images.
© Matt Tory, 2014.