Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Se7en (1995)

TOP 100 FILMS: #96

On the verge of his retirement, Detective William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) must team up with his newly appointed replacement Det. Mills (Brad Pitt) to hunt down a serial killer using the Seven Deadly Sins symbolically for his crimes.

It's hard to do a review of Se7en without reference to its amazing finale, but in the sake of not ruining it for anyone who hasn't seen the film I'll do my best. In terms of historic perspective Se7en by many accounts breathed new life into the generic procedural cop drama. Dark, edgy, creative (if not mis-interpretive), and powerful, Se7en reaches into your very gut and never lets go.

Director Fincher, fresh off his "eh" directorial debut in Alien3, creates an amazing sense of scenery, with great cinematography to bring this dark and powerful underworld to life. The movie has a movement all its own, willing to sacrifice momentary action for quiet sections of character development among our two leads (and their respective families). At the same time, Walker does something modern films that become truly memorable do best... they take the old, remove the bad, put a new spin on it, and put it out so new you'd never know the difference.

With so many filmmakers simply mimicking the old, Walker and Fincher show a true knack for re-inventing it. Se7en is the kind of film that makes a real emotional impact, as it is designed to do. So many films try to do this but fail on a incomparable level, and in that respect Se7en is in rare company. You laugh, you cry, you throw up with these characters, and in 2 hours your mind has been just as challenged as theirs. In that respect you feel what they feel, and the film going experience is infinitely better for it.

From top to bottom Se7en has everything you'd want in a movie going experience, and as such I can do nothing but overwhelmingly recommend it.

2 better thoughts:

The Mad Hatter said...

One of my top ten favorite films - thanks for writing about it! Feels strange to think that it's been almost fifteen years since I saw this movie in a theatre...I can still remember feeling so uneasy as I walked home on that late autumn night.

So many movies try to rattle the audience, but so few achieve it the same way this movie did.

filmgeek said...

This is one of my favourite films. I love Fincher and Freeman and I definitely prefer Pitt's pre-Mr & Mrs Smith films

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