Newest Reviews
Kindergarten Teacher, The
Penny Slinger: Out of the Shadows
Girls Town
Hitchhikers, The
For All Mankind
Glass Key, The
Captor, The
Hide in Plain Sight
Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese
Heiress, The
Cold Pursuit
Dogs of War, The
Holy Mountain, The
Under Fire
Jennifer on My Mind
People on Sunday
Lethal Weapon 4
Downhill Racer
Escape Room
Across the Pacific
Madeline's Madeline
You're Gonna Miss Me
Iron Sky: The Coming Race
Mortal Engines
Union City
Little Stranger, The
Watermelon Man
Wandering Earth, The
Good Fairy, The
Newest Articles
Woo's the Boss: Last Hurrah for Chivalry & Hand of Death on Blu-ray
Get Ahead in Showbiz: Expresso Bongo and It's All Happening
Outer Space and Outta Sight: Gonks Go Beat on Blu-ray
Tucked: The Derren Nesbitt Interview
Locomotion Pictures: The Best of British Transport Films on Blu-ray
Roman Scandals: Extreme Visions from Ancient Rome
Spider-Wrong and Spider-Right: The Dragon's Challenge and Into the Spider-Verse
Monster Dog: Cujo on Blu-ray
For Christ's Sake: Jesus Christ Superstar and The Last Temptation of Christ
Not In Front of the Children: Inappropriate Kids Movies
Deeper into Ozploitation: Next of Kin and Fair Game
Between the Wars: Babylon Berlin Series 1&2 on DVD
Hard Luck Story: Detour on Blu-ray
Oh, What Happened to You? The Likely Lads on Blu-ray
Killer Apps: The Rise of the Evil 60s Supercomputers
  Climax What Goes Up Must Come DownBuy this film here.
Year: 2018
Director: Gaspar Noé
Stars: Sofia Boutella, Romain Guillermic, Souhelia Yacoub, Kiddy Smile, Claude-Emmanuelle Gajan-Maull, Giselle Palmer, Taylor Kastle, Thea Carla Schott, Sharleen Temple, Lea Vlamos, Alaia Alsafir, Kendall Mugler, Lakdar Dridi, Adrien Sissoko, Mamadou Bathily
Genre: Horror, Drama, Music
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: It has been snowing around this village in the Alps, and as it is now daylight in the morning, a young woman, stained with blood, stumbles along and eventually collapses, agonisingly wailing all the time. What has happened to her? To find that out we must return to when she was auditioning as a dancer for a 1996 tour of Europe and the United States; the audition tapes survive and when viewed they reveal the performers were a collection mostly from France, though others hailed from elsewhere. Some revealed they were gay, others that they had done drugs in the past, and all were excited about the prospect of setting off on this excursion. But first they had to rehearse...

And that is where it goes horribly wrong in an example of a film from Gaspar Noé that proved to be one of his mildest. Mildest compared to the usual Noé experience, that was, as while there was no hardcore sex and the violence was relegated to a few brief moments, it was still strong stuff when put alongside many a cult director's opus. He had been inspired by one of his favourite films, Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, a piece he had returned to again and again throughout his career, only in this case instead of mankind's evolution, he wanted to depict mankind's devolution, a commentary on how, like shares, prices can go up as well as down, and it really went down here.

That feeling we were on the brink of a total breakdown in society was one that had been difficult to shake ever since the turn of the millennium, and had revealed itself not merely in the culture across the globe, but the politics and science as well. The fears that we were headed on an inexorable path to our doom could be regarded as a metaphor for the journey to our individual destruction, that was our personal demise, and that was always something this director was captivated by, but as a race of people the pressing thought that we were, say, three missed meals away from anarchy was one which appeared to be in the back of everyone's minds, thus ripe for tapping into by this filmmaker.

Not solely Noé, either, as the impending apocalypse that may or may not be around the corner fed into plenty of movies, some more obviously than others. But here we were with a dedicated exponent of looming oblivion, and what's more, he had made a musical. Climax was populated by characters who were dancers, and that's what they did, they kicked things off with a tour de force of modern dance to Supernature by Cerrone (a go-to track for disco decadence from way back) and after their "official" routine they paired off into frequent improvised terpsichorean showing off, as instructed by their guide who basically told them to do what they wanted as outlined by his loose shooting script which emphasised that improvisation as the best method of getting to the heart of his concerns.

This did mean the conversations in between the dancing were rambling affairs, as dancers are not necessarily actors, though the ostensible lead, Sofia Boutella, was a dancer AND an actress, here playing the leader of the troupe who realises that during their party to celebrate how well things are going, oh dear, someone spiked the sangria. Now they are all reacting in increasingly deranged ways, and though what we witnessed in Climax was bad and not the sort of party anyone would want to be invited to, there was the impression Noé was holding back to an extent. It could have been because of that make it up as it goes structure (or lack of it), but if he had planned out more effects and sharper interactions, rather than simply have his cast do as they will, this could have evoked the Hieronymus Bosch tableau he was evidently aiming for rather than resemble a night out at the all-primal-screaming, agitprop theatre. Nevertheless, it did have a dedication to presenting its terror about the dark heart of humanity that was compelling enough.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 199 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Rachel Franke
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Paul Shrimpton
Darren Jones
George White


Last Updated: