ByRicksen Vanclear, writer at
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Ricksen Vanclear

Jake Gyllenhaal is known for many roles in his impressive career. From his earliest psychological-thriller, Donnie Darko to one of his latest thrillers, Enemy. He is worthy to be considered as a house-hold name. Nominated an Academy for Brokeback Mountain, later gaining a Golden Globe nomination for his role in Nightcrawler. It may be his willingness to go for smaller budget films, e.g End of Watch, Prisoners, Southpaw and now the comedy-drama, Demolition, that grants him more access to dominate the roles. Cause again, he nails it here.

For those who would rather not read the spoiler review, read along here.

'Demolition' carries its weight throughout. It has wit and on-key quip. Jake Gyllenhaal (Davis Mitchell) transcends into this born again character, as he rediscovers himself after a tragic loss. The word demolition isn't used lightly. It shows, yet subtly and palpable to the eye as he deconstructs things while reconstructing his life back together. It carried many usages of motifs throughout, as we, the audience kept finding ourselves laughing at them. Yet, it trailed a few that had the theater, silent and still, pressured by the effects it had on Davis's mental state. We followed him into a new encounter with Naomi Watt's character, Karen Moreno and her son Chris, played by Judah Lewis. Aiding our laughters at the adventures the three take part in. Finally, we are seeing how hidden this Davis character once was. Like a butterfly escaping its cocoon, but instead it's shown through his external conflicts along side his once groomed appearance.

We gained the sense that he presented a sham representation of himself in the beginning. As he dives internally by demolishing objects, he decodes himself right in front of us. Discoveries within his marriage unravel, we begin to see how much pain this character is actually enduring. Hilarious it may have been in the beginning, it dawns on us during the climax and in the end, as we watch him reconstruct himself with forgiveness and self discovery. Not forgetting the amazing addition, each of the supporting casts, Naomi Watts, Chris Cooper, Heather Lind and Judah Lewis placed within this film. The entire treat was definitely worth while.

'Demolition' begins with Gyllenhaal (Davis Mitchell), already successful as an investment banker who's inattentive to life outside of work. Including his marriage. As he experiences the fatal accident that claims his wife's life, we board the process of his dealing with the incident. 'Demolition' carries you through his cooping technique, no matter how out there it may seem. Starting with something as silly as his purchase of M&M's jamming inside a hospitals vending machine, translating into writing a long, personally detailed complaint(s) to the manufacturers.

That small motif plays throughout carefully. Followed by the events of his inattentiveness transforming into awareness towards the leakage from his refrigerator, his wife spoke about. Into the actual demolition of that object. It carries on into every thing he's bypassed before his companion's death. Squirrels running and a stall-rooms door squeaking. He notices it now. He sees life in front of him. Now that she is gone? Maybe. His destruction is internal and witty, that we even laugh at some of the things he does. Even his interaction with a customer service rep from the vending machine company, Karen (Naomi Watts) and her son, Chris (Judah Lewis) is humorous. It corresponds with his sudden knack for demolishing objects, to see how they work internally. Further, presenting his obvious external conflict. His hygiene for grooming lacks. His care for material things dwindle, until he begins to tear down his own marriage, figuratively. A marriage he never felt whole in. The same unification, he discovers his late wife had failed him in a year prior to her passing. Davis has his breakdowns as shown, yet it helps him build the person he's been avoiding. And it's done remarkably through clear motifs, glimpses of memories and forgiveness to himself and later, to his wife.

Superb acting all around. Jake Gyllenhaal knows what he's doing. None can deny that he's one of the best known actors in Hollywood. His presence in movies, especially those worthy of a big award, will always grip you. He takes control of his talent. Whether he finds his character(s) methodically or regularly, he harnesses the emotion and lifestyle for each. And in Demolition, he found it yet again.

Rate: 8/10

A serene, witty, remarkable comedy-drama


"Davis (Jake Gyllenhaal), a successful investment banker, struggles after losing his wife in a tragic car crash. Despite pressure from his father-in-law Phil (Chris Cooper) to pull it together, Davis continues to unravel. What starts as a complaint letter to a vending machine company turns into a series of letters revealing startling personal admissions. Davis’ letters catch the attention of customer service rep Karen (Naomi Watts) and, amidst emotional and financial burdens of her own, the two form an unlikely connection. With the help of Karen and her son Chris (Judah Lewis), Davis starts to rebuild, beginning with the demolition of the life he once knew."

'Demolition' enters theaters everywhere this Friday, April 8th.


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