No Such Thing

"Good"

No Such Thing Review


I bet there's a really cool backstory behind No Such Thing. Its premise is so bizarre (but what Hal Hartley film isn't?) that it's either the work of a genius or a madman. Knowing Hartley's work, the jury's still out on that one.

Sarah Polley, an exquisite actress, stars as a young journalist-wannabe named Beatrice (in pigtails, natch) who flies to Iceland to locate her boyfriend, who has gone missing along with his entire TV crew. Her plan crashes, she undergoes surgery to get fixed up, then continues on to Iceland where she discovers the fate of her guy: He was killed by a monster (played by Robert John Burke) who lives like a hermit in an abandoned building.

The catch is that this isn't some mindless beast like the Yeti. He's got horns and impermiably leathery skin, and he's irascible, to be sure, but this monster speaks perfect English, smokes cigars, and drinks like a fish. He's got a nasty outlook on life, and when Beatrice brings him back to America, they both become media stars.

Hartley's wry sense of humor fits the story pretty well: The monster is asked by one reporter whether he, a monster in "this day and age" isn't, well, irrelevant. But for a movie about a gruesome monster, there's an awful lot of philosophical chattering and entirely wasted scenes. Why all the nonsense with Beatrice's plane crash, her surgery, and recovery? It adds nothing to the story and simply makes you wonder what Hartley's been smoking. Hartley wants us to question whether it all isn't irrelevant, but the message never comes through very well.

The latter portions of the film also follow typical plot points you wouldn't expect out of Hartley: experimentation on the creature and his cool reception by the outside world. Basically, it's Splash without the jokes.

But there's enough uniqueness in the story to make it worthwhile for Harley fans. If it had been better crafted, it might have been a modern day fairy tale for all of us.

A monstrosity.



No Such Thing

Facts and Figures

Run time: 102 mins

In Theaters: Friday 15th November 2002

Distributed by: United Artists Films/ MGM

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 29%
Fresh: 12 Rotten: 30

IMDB: 6.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Friðrik Þór Friðriksson, ,

Starring: as Beatrice, as Monster, Margrét Ákadóttir as Rental agent, as The Boss, as Dr. Anna, as Dr. Artaud

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Dunkirk Movie Review

Dunkirk Movie Review

Britain's epic 1940 evacuation of Dunkirk has been dramatised on film before, but no one...

Killing Ground Movie Review

Killing Ground Movie Review

From Australia, this dark and edgy thriller is skilfully made by writer-director Damien Power to...

City of Ghosts Movie Review

City of Ghosts Movie Review

This award-winning documentary plays like a thriller as it traces the work of a group...

Cars 3 Movie Review

Cars 3 Movie Review

It's been six years since the last Cars movie (there were two Planes movies in...

The Beguiled Movie Review

The Beguiled Movie Review

In her inimitable loose style, Sofia Coppola remakes the 1971 Clint Eastwood movie from a...

War for the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

War for the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

The surprisingly thoughtful prequel trilogy comes to a powerful conclusion with this robust, dramatic thriller,...

It Comes At Night Movie Review

It Comes At Night Movie Review

This sharply original horror film not only approaches its premise from an unexpected angle, but...

Advertisement
Okja Movie Review

Okja Movie Review

As Tilda Swinton reteams with her Snowpiercer director, Korea's Bong Joon Ho, it's perhaps unsurprising...

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review

This may be the third reboot of this franchise in 15 years, risking audience exhaustion,...

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

Actually the fourth film in the series (don't forget the prequel Minions), this animated super-villain...

Baby Driver Movie Review

Baby Driver Movie Review

Wildly energetic and so cool it hurts, this action movie has been put together in...

All Eyez On Me Movie Review

All Eyez On Me Movie Review

There's a clear sense that this Tupac Shakur biopic is hoping to build on the...

Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.