Cloud Atlas is a sprawling epic film about how the actions of individual lives impact one and other across the past, present and future. Let it be known that I haven't read the book but personally I view the two as completely different mediums so no comparison should ever be made. Co-directed by the Wachowski siblings and Tom Twyker, the film has elements of pretty much ever genre from romance to action. The film uses the same actors in every storyline, relying on tons of make-up effects that quite frankly at times reached the point of self-parody. The biggest problem with Cloud Atlas is its poor pacing and slow start, where literally for the first hour or so, you feel completely lost and confused as to why the film is jumping back and forth across the timelines. There is of course expositional dialogue that makes that point clear, but I just didn't see it in the actual story until approximately an hour in. I definitely found the futuristic segment to be the most interesting, engaging and resonant. I guess Cloud Atlas just jumped around too much leaving large parts of the film rather unengaging. Of course there are patches that grab the viewer but they just come few and far between considering the 170 minute running time. Take it as you will, but for me the best aspect of Cloud Atlas was the comedic parts, which really worked beautifully more so than not. In the end I can respect Cloud Atlas for the massive undertaking and ambition but ultimately the film collapses under its own narrative weight, even if by the end they make strides to clean it up.
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