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7 September 2012 Film


Billionaire assets manager and currency speculator Eric Packer (Robert Pattinson) wants a haircut. But today isn’t the best day for a trip across New York in his stretch limo. There are floods and riots in the streets, major figures in the global economy are being attacked, and Packer’s own finances are heading into free fall. At least he has a steady stream of strange characters (played by Juliette Binoche, Samantha Morton, Jay Baruchel and Kevin Durand) passing by his back seat to talk high finance, the shape of the future and voice-activated firearms. Or just examine his prostate. Director David Cronenberg’s adaptation of Don DeLillo’s 2003 novel isn’t entirely car-bound, but the focus is firmly on large chunks of DeLillo’s compelling, if somewhat stagy, dialogue. This isn’t a plot-driven film and the characters are mostly mouthpieces for various points of view, but Cronenberg’s chilly style provides a real sense of menace while Pattinson is enthralling as a man who never quite adds up.

Anthony Morris