Alright… while I think this movie could swing either way, I can tell it’s going to be a powerhouse-laden film of some of the finest acting we’re going to see this year… but it also looks like it’s trying to be a feminist film. I know feminism is a huge thing right now in Hollywood and equal treatment is a hot button topic, but I also feel like a movie like this wouldn’t help anyone’s cause. It’s really hammering in how women can be just as successful, rich, and cut-throat as any man in a Wall Street setting. Trying to be too honest about women to the point of bring unrealistic. Similar to the rebooted GHOSTBUSTERS, it’s trying too hard to say something loud and obnoxiously, rather than actually tell a good story about good characters. But I still look at the performances and think that I might disagree with early ratings. IMDb for example is giving it a 4.5/10 (as of 2:45 AM, 7/28/2016). Yikes, that’s lower than GHOSTBUSTERS, which stands at a 5.4 (as of 2:45 AM, 7/28/2016). Suddenly, the seemingly good acting doesn’t look like it’s going to save it.
The director of this film is Meera Menon. She’s only directed one other movie before this, and it’s one I’ve personally never heard of: FARAH GOES BANG. Can’t say much about whether or not she’s got the talent to pull off something that looks this edgy and hardcore, but I guess we’ll see.
The writer is Amy Fox. Another no-name to the Hollywood world. Back in 2005, she wrote a play/screenplay (not sure if this started off on the stage and got adapted to film) titled HEIGHTS, which seemed to star a lot of big names, including Glenn Close and Elizabeth Banks. But she doesn’t have anything else attached to her name aside from this current film. Hard times getting a script bought, perhaps? Maybe the most interesting aspect about the movie is who came up with the story: Sarah Megan Thomas. Still a no-name, but she also seems to co-star in the film and serves as the film’s producer. I’m starting to think the making of this film might be more interesting than the film itself, but I haven’t seen the movie yet, so I digress.
But if anyone was looking at the lead actress, Anna Gunn, and wondering why she looks familiar, she played the character Skylar White from BREAKING BAD, Walter’s wife. Gotta say, suddenly the acting might pick up the movie. Oh, and lets not forget Alysia Reiner, who played Natalie Figueroa on Netflix’s ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK, the bitch sort-of-warden lady from seasons one and two. Of course, I remember James Purefoy from RESIDENT EVIL (2002) and others might remember from the TV show THE FOLLOWING.
But interesting and talented actors don’t always save a movie if the story falls flat. So how is it? Does it empower women to be successful and strong in business, or is it just pandering to vaginas pretending to be more important than it really is? This is my honest opinion of EQUITY.
Naomi Bishop (Anna Gunn) is a successful banker for her company. Unfortunately, her long winning streak got hit with a single failure and now everyone around her has doubts about doing business with her, including her latest venture with a young and cocky businessman, Ed (Samuel Roukin), who wants to bring his newest server public that promises absolute protection from the government. Things only get worse when Samantha (Alysia Reiner), a friend of Naomi from a long time ago as well as a prosecutor, believes that someone in Naomi’s firm is corrupt.
If my summary didn’t make the movie sound all that interesting, then it’s a perfect representation of my feelings toward the film itself. It’s ungodly boring.
About the only positive I can say about the movie is that the actors are good. When these people are on screen, I totally buy it. Gunn has an incredibly strong and powerful presence and whenever she talks, you’re watching her. Thomas also pulls a solid performance as Naomi’s underappreciated and borderline mistreated assistant, Erin. The audience definitely identifies with her as a future mom who has to be forced to do morally questionable things in the name of her job that may or may not give her a promotion that will set her up financially.
My compliments end there. As I suspected, strong performances didn’t really save this movie for me. Look, I’m all for female-centric movies, I really am. Pretty sure I said this in my GHOSTBUSTERS (2016) review. But good actors don’t equal a good movie, and this movie has nothing going for it. It’s a near two hour bore-fest with very little character development and nearly nothing to be emotionally invested in.
What do you learn about, say, Naomi? She likes money. She’s strong, independent, all that stuff. Well, a lot of movies have strong female characters well before this whole feminism thing became a hot-button topic. The real trick isn’t to create a whiny and annoying character, that should be easy, but rather to create a person that we the audience can get behind. What is Naomi really fighting for? Why is she fighting for it? The answers are about a generic as, “She’s just doing her job.” What’s at stake? What does she lose if she fails? What does she gain if she succeeds? More importantly, why should the audience care? The story doesn’t give the audience any of that.
You know what I think? I think Thomas, or maybe Fox… one or both of these women are smart. I think these women know banking, marketing, investing, all that jazz like it was reading a child’s story book. I sure as fuck don’t know jack about any of that. If you told me that either of these women could genuinely work for Wall Street if they didn’t have Hollywood as their go-to jobs, I’d believe you. But I do feel like this script was an attempt to prove that. It’s focusing more on a lot of important technical jargon that, frankly, the common man myself just can’t follow. Hey, I’m not educated in that fashion, so maybe there’s plenty of you out there that followed this movie easily, but for me, I shouldn’t need to follow it. Similar to watching Star Wars, or Lord of the Rings, or Harry Potter, I don’t always follow the techno/mystic-babble. But their words, their facial expressions, the tones in their voices, they bring in so many factors that make you invested in their successes. It’s not about how smart the writing sounds, it’s about how much I care about these people being portrayed on screen. I just don’t.
I honestly hope the very best for everyone working on this project. Due to this film’s poor marketing, I suspect it’ll tank at the box office [it hasn’t even hit $100,000 yet in nearly a week], but I doubt this’ll hurt anyone’s careers. I would love to see these fine women in other roles in other projects, but not unlike GHOSTBUSTERS (2016), which I feel like this review is uncomfortably repeating from and making way too many comparisons to, this film is nothing special. I fought hard to stay awake on this one. It’s slow, not interesting, not awful, but definitely not recommended.
My honest rating: 2/5
- trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELKsrUssyQE
- trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AX1BTiHzq-I