Match Point: movie review
Directed by: Woody Allen
Starring: Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Scarlett Johanssen, Emily Mortimer, Brian Cox
What, you don’t want to read my review of the new Woody Allen movie? Why not? You don’t like Woody Allen movies? Hmm. Well, neither do I. Except this one. So quit bein' choosy and read on you freakin' brat.
Truth be told, I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen a Woody Allen movie for the very reason that it IS a Woody Allen movie. They all seem rather wordy and boring and pretentious, but I couldn’t say that unequivocally because I simply don’t know.
However, when it comes to Match Point, I do know. When I saw the trailer for this movie I thought it looked like a good “Fatal Attraction-like” thriller. Then, I saw Woody Allen’s name on it and was taken aback. It did not look like his normal coffee table dogshit. It actually looked interesting.
And it has cheating.
My wife and I, or rather, my wife, like the cheating movies. Infidelity is inherently interesting and sparks those feelings that regularly pulse through your brain when you’re attached to someone in a monogamous relationship. It’s great to watch the events unfold onscreen and, hopefully, not be able to relate to them in any type of nostalgic way.
And it’s good to look over at your significant other and put them in the situation of the characters onscreen.
“I swear, if you ever did that I’d…”
a) Cut your dick off
b) Blow your brains out
c) Take everything you have and leave
d) Kill your whole family
e) Burn your action figure collection
Anyways, Match Point involves an Irish Tennis Pro (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) who moves to England and meets some well-to-do folks at the Tennis Club he is teaching at and is quickly involved in their circle of life. He meets a woman (Emily Mortimer) and falls in love. Mortimer’s brother is engaged to the striking, American beauty Scarlett Johanssen, playing a struggling actress/sultry seductress. The Tennis Pro is instantly smitten, but still deeply cares for Mortimer.
Rhys-Meyers is dedicated to seeing Johanssen in every way he can. He is a sneaky little snake throughout the entire film and does everything he can to cover and slither his way through life, while manipulating everyone around him with every twist and turn of emotion and wording he can get through. And the truly interesting aspect of it is that he does all this without being utterly nasty about it. You actually kind of like the guy and want him to do well.
Eventually he marries Mortimer after Johanssen and the now-brother-in-law split. He starts to move on, but as fate would have it, he sees Johanssen again and simply can’t help himself. The pursuit is on again.
From this point on the affair is in full swing and it’s great to watch Rhys-Meyers snake his way through every situation and close call of being caught in the act. He handles it remarkably well and even though suspicions arise, no one truly believes that he is actually up to no good.
As with marriage, comes the pressure of squirting out a kid, and so Mortimer puts the squeeze on Rhys-Meyers for a rugrat. They try, but obviously all the good baby batter is being wasted on Johanssen, so…
…You guessed it, Johanssen gets knocked up first. BAM! Now, Rhys-Meyers is truly fucked and Johanssen’s sultry seductress becomes a raving psychopath that wants her Irish Tennis Pro all to herself and to raise her bun in the oven together and to once and for all leave his wife.
Rhys-Meyers, obviously in what some would call a “pickle,” decides there’s only one thing he can do…
Kill the Bitch.
I audibly laughed in the theater when he goes to get his father-in-law’s shotgun and plans out the crime, clumsy as it may have been. Here is a man that has shown absolutely that he has a conniving will and the cunning of a fox that would allow him to commit such an act and yet you somehow don’t want him to do it. You feel that there is something that would make him change his mind.
He kills the bitch. Blows her away. He kills the neighbor as well, robbing her to make it look like a botched robbery. Everything seems to have fallen into place.
He returns home and settles back in like nothing ever happened. He tosses the jewelry that he robbed from the neighbor and tosses it into a river, a single ring bouncing off the railing and falling back to the ground. This is to signify the “match point” that is associated with Tennis, where you can either win or lose the game with that one shot.
We are led to believe that the ring will cause him to “lose” the match. However, it turns out that it actually saves him.
After he kills Johannsen I actually wanted him to get caught and go to jail. But then, I thought about it some more and as the movie progressed to its conclusion and kept pulling the audience in either direction, I wanted him to get away with it.
The police get involved and one of the detectives figures the whole crime out in his head down to the intricate details. I figure that Rhys-Meyers is done. But no. The ring. The match point ring was picked up by some other criminal who was killed in another robbery, thereby linking him to the two deaths that Rhys-Meyers actually caused.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, he gets away with it. I felt a pang of victory, although I don’t know why. Perhaps, because too many times we’ve seen the same movie where the husband or wife is punished and sent to prison and will feel sorrowful and repent his sins and that’s life.
Match Point gives us another take and it’s refreshing. It also gives me hope. Why you ask? Well, now I feel that I can have an affair and get away with it. Yep. That’s right.
So, if there are any women out there that want to have an affair with me, its game time, baby. It will be sweet, passionate, hot, dirty, and ultra-secretive. But…and this is a big but…
…If your ass gets knocked up and you go all psycho on me…
…I’m fuckin’ killin’ your ass with a shotgun…
Movie Grade: A