Big Screen :: St Vincent

December 23rd 2014


‘St Vincent’ is maybe worth watching for one reason only, and that’s Bill Murray.

Literally any other actor in this role and the movie would have been infuriating. But Murray is just so compulsively watchable, so unpredictable and interesting that the movie actually turns out okay. Not good, mind you. Just okay.

Murray plays Vincent. He’s that standard old guy character who’s drunk and cantankerous.

He may or may not have a heart of gold… but I don’t want to spoil it for you.

Vincent is forced to become a mentor to a skinny kid who moves in next-door. You can pretty much write the movie yourself from there… with the exception of a Naomi Watts cameo as a pregnant Russian hooker. She really livens things up!

Murray has notoriously erratic reasons for picking what movies he is going to make, and his criteria seems to have little to do with how good he thinks the thing is going to turn out to be. He likes working with first-time directors, and helping to get movies made that otherwise would not happen.

This is not always a good thing. I once saw a movie called Passion Play, where he played a gangster chasing Mickey Rourke at his most punch drunk and Megan Fox playing a woman who inexplicably had actual wings. It was unwatchable, but Murray looked like he was enjoying himself and he gave it his all. He does the same here, but the movie again fails him.

Debut writer-director Ted Melfi doesn’t seem willing or able find what he wants to say, so the movie just kind of… happens. It’s exactly what I feared it was going to be when I saw the poster: mediocre and predictable.

That said, it’s getting pretty hot these days, and St Vincent offers you the opportunity to hang out with Bill Murray for 100 minutes in some air conditioning. That’s a totally valid thing to choose to do.


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