alex manugian

Coherence Review

Director: James Ward Byrkit; Writers: James Ward Byrkit, Alex Manugian

After seeing this for the second time and not having done a movie review in a while, I figured it’s time to do a review on Coherence, since it’s possibly my favorite movie of the year so far (I saw Coherence at two separate film festivals (the Capital City Film Festival in April and the Traverse City Film Festival in August), and it was my favorite film at both.). I dunno, Godzilla was pretty awesome.

Directed and co-written by Rango scribe James Ward Byrkit and starring pretty unknown actors (at least to me; the only one I recognized was Nicholas Brendon), Coherence is a hell of a sci-fi trip from start to finish. A lot of the dialogue was improvised by the actors, and you can really tell in their natural sounding conversations. Of course, I’m sure it gets more scripted as the twists and turns begin to pile on, but the genuine flow of the characters rapport and chemistry are maintained (as much as they can be when… stuff). Something that surprised me after watching it (and what I loved to focus on the second time through) was how well it leads the audience along in the twists, yet at the same time says nothing. There’s so many red herrings throughout the film and it seems like it’d be so easy to give away too much information too early (which seems the case for a lot of it), but Coherence manages to feed you one crazy thing, only to later compound it and make it so much more complex and nutty. It lets you believe that you know what’s going on, but then you realize you are just as lost as the characters. It reminded me a lot of Dot the i and Primer in this regard.

For not being familiar with most of the cast, I ended up really liking all of them. As I said before, their chemistry is really natural and fitting. Another movie connection I make with this is It’s a Disaster. Apart from the obvious (takes place entirely in a house originally set for a couples dinner that ends up sidewinded by something gnarly), both films gave good amounts of characterization to everyone and their characters represented a good spectrum of different attitudes/responses to their situations. My biggest complaint with the movie would be the ending, but after a second viewing I’ve accepted it a bit more, it just seems a bit out of character for one of them. My biggest complaint the first time was the inconsistency of some of the characters, but then once I finished the film, that complaint was silenced.

I feel like I worded some of my points badly. Oh well, it’s still good.

Grade: 4.06 Batmans out of 5 (9.06 out of 10)