Directed By: David Cronenberg

Starring: Robert Pattinson, Paul Giamatti, Samantha Morton, Sarah Gadon, Mathieu Amalric, Juliette Binoche, and Kevin Durand

As I mentioned in my review of Robot & Frank, the other futuristic movie this weekend is David Cronenberg's Cosmopolis.  Before I began writing this review, I did something I rarely do.  I went to Rotten Tomatoes to check out the Tomatometer, and I was thoroughly disappointed.  Apparently, Cosmopolis has a rating of 64% on RT.  That's something with which I adamantly disagree.  It seems like critics are going soft on Cronenberg and his star Robert Pattinson.  Well, I'm going to take the gloves off and get down to business in my review of Cosmopolis.

Billionaire Eric Packer (Pattinson) wants to go to the barbershop across town to get a haircut.  There's just one problem.  There's a major traffic jam in Manhattan because the President of the United States is in town and there's a funeral for one of Eric's favorite musicians.  On top of this, his driver and bodyguard Torval (Kevin Durand) warns him that there's a credible threat against his life.  Packer’s life is in jeopardy because there's a market-debilitating situation with the Yuan caused by his company Packer Capital. 

Regardless of everything that's happening, Eric decides to take the long drive to the barbershop.  He wants that haircut.  Along the way, his limousine becomes an office where he meets with all sorts of people throughout the day.  Since he's having some issues in the bedroom with his wife Elise (Sadah Gadon), the limo also serves as a bedroom where he has sex with lots of random hot women.  As protests begin raging throughout the city and the rat becomes the unit of currency, his limo ultimately becomes a sanctuary from the madness in the city. 

Cosmopolis is an ambitious film haunted by the specter of capitalism.  Writer and director David Cronenberg takes on the engine that drives the American economy and gives his two cents on why it has created such great inequality in society.  He's also got a few things to say about what's wrong with both the haves and have-nots.  He's made a film that suggests that the rich are half-hearted and disconnected and that everyone else is just jealous.  With a dark story, grim cinematography, and rat-filled visuals, Cronenberg creates a decadent, corrupt movie that reflects a savage, ultraviolent world with no promise of a better future.

Despite some great filmmaking, Cronenberg has a bag of bricks weighing him down — his cast.  In particular, Robert Pattinson's bad acting weighs this film down.  His acting has no range, and his character Eric Packer accordingly has no substance whatsoever.  Pattinson is not a good enough actor for a film like this.  He can't bring the words from Cronenberg's screenplay to life in a charming yet chilling way.  He can’t make Packer the detestable yet intriguing character he needs to be.  We need an actor of a better caliber to be frank.  This is the same problem that plagued Bel Ami, Pattinson's other indie vehicle this year.  Someone like Michael Fassbender would be perfect for a role like this, if he were ten years younger.

Cosmopolis in itself is great on paper.  It's well-written.  It's well-directed.  It's just not well-acted.  Bad acting ruins this otherwise good movie.  For reference, David Cronenberg should avoid Twilight stars for his next movie.  For his part, Robert Pattinson should avoid movies that require actual acting.  Cosmopolis gets a 0.09% rating.  Have a few Cosmopolitans with this one.