Coherence (2013)


Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Interesting, but boring.

We all have those movies that never really looked appealing enough to check out, but we do anyways because of one of the starring roles. It may not always be the smartest idea, but I’m sure there are movies out there that are surprisingly good. Coherence wasn’t a movie I was looking forward to…I wasn’t exactly dreading it, but it looked very bleh to me based solely on the trailer. The reason why I saw it was Nicholas Brendan, one of the main actors in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and who has since had very few actual roles in modern media. Seriously, all he usually does is show up at conventions…so I was ready to see him act again. How was this venture? In a word? Weird.

The story at its heart is your basic dinner thriller. A bunch of friends gather together for a friendly dinner to talk about whatever’s on their minds. Currently, a rare comet is flying overhead, which is causing strange effects on this group. It’s hard to really explain, but basically there are multiple universes and realities collapsing on themselves. There are multiple copies of everyone and each scenario is a little different than the last, and it’s freaking everyone out.

It’s hard to really explain because the filmmakers themselves have a hard time explaining it. It’s confusing, and this is coming from someone who completely understands Inception. I think the filmmakers had this absolutely huge concept – just had no idea how to properly execute their vision. The main issue this film has, in my opinion, is it’s low budget. I don’t have a problem with low budget flicks, but when trying to balance it with a high-budget concept…you’re going to have lulls that just don’t translate the same way. Most of the film took place in the one house, which makes sense, but with such a concept, the audience is going to be demanding to see more – which for the most part, they just don’t. You can’t just explain what’s happening, it’s a movie, there needs to be more of a visual stimuli. You can also tell they had little material when they keep struggling to get good shots – with all of the close-ups of the dinner plates and candles.

Another thing that bugged me was the unnecessary side plots that I don’t think anyone will ultimately care about. Yeah yeah, alcoholism and adultery are two horrible words that start with the letter “A”, and they are both spoken about multiple times throughout the movie, but honestly…I don’t care. My mind is busy trying to wrap itself around your monumentally insane concept, and you take your sweet time to take a rest and talk about random drama…it just felt so out of place. I think they were trying to get you to like their characters a little more, but if you want good character development in a movie like this, you need to start with that…not just throw it in whenever you deem necessary. What this film did was ruin it’s own pacing…which was simply not a good idea.

Does the concept ultimately make sense? Well like I said, they relied more on explaining it than showing you what it is visually, so in a word, no. It’s still confusing and makes little sense. The ending was also interesting, but it left too many unanswered questions and loopholes that I’m not entirely sure how I feel about it. It’s a semi-fun ride while it lasts, but it’s really not much more than that, and so I’m a little disappointed in that fact.

The Good:

Coherence dreams big. For such a low budget (a little over 50k), it had a massive vision of confusing an audience – and that it does indeed.

The Bad:

Unfortunately, it’s just too big of a vision for it’s own good. I’m sure it wanted to show the audience more than it was able to, and I’m sure if it did the movie would be 100 times better, but as it was…it fails at really translating the vision.

The Random:

Nicholas Brendan was pretty much just playing himself. Instead of Nicholas, his name was Mike, and instead of being an actor in every season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, he was an actor in every season of Roswell.

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