Movie Review: All Is Lost (2013)

Posted: February 15, 2015 in Drama

all is lost-robert redford

Our Man (Robert Redford) is rammed by a stray shipping container while sailing near Sumatra, Indonesia.  He tries valiantly to fix his boat, but is forced to abandon it for a lifeboat.  The lifeboat is threatened by sharks and he is on the verge of dehydration, but he sees a cargo ship in the distance, does he use one of his flares to signal the ship and save himself?

At first, I thought All Is lost would be something like Life of Pi, or Castaway.  It starts off promisingly enough with the man ruminating about the failures in his life and expressing regret.  This is obviously going to be a character study, well, no it isn’t.  Because after the initial voice over, there is maybe 10 words of dialogue, no character development, no plot development, nothing but Redford floating around for an hour and a half seemingly resigned to his fate.  Tom Hanks talking to a volleyball would have been a welcome change, this movie runs out of material fast and becomes painfully redundant.  Who is this guy, why should I care if he lives or dies?  The character doesn’t even have a name.  There are no flashbacks to explain who this guy is, why he’s sailing and why he has regrets.  Just before he gives up all hope, he writes a note and drops it in the ocean, how big a cliché is that? The ending is so ludicrous it doesn’t even merit discussion, unless you love sailing or Robert Redford, by all means, avoid this film.

Redford himself looks old and tired and that’s before the makeup showing his sunburn and exhaustion. He doesn’t really do a lot of acting in this film, so how do I judge it?  He sure knows his way around a sailboat, that’s about it.

JC Chandor is both “writer” and director for this movie, he wrote Margin Call I liked that movie, in this movie there is some nice underwater cinematography, no sense of danger or fear, just fatalism. And there is  very little for Chandor to do.

All Is Lost:  90 minutes of my life was lost.


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