I picked up the 2001 movie "No Such Thing" because I saw that Sarah Polley was starring in it. Granted, I hadn't even heard about the movie before I sat down in 2021 to watch it, so I didn't know what I was in for here.
And I thought that I might be in for something good when I sat that Helen Mirren was also on the cast list.
But as it turns out, then "No Such Thing" was exactly that - no such thing. Sure, the movie was watchable, but it just wasn't a spectacular movie experience. For my liking, then the movie was just too uneventful and slow paced. It would have been more enjoyable if writer and director Hal Hartley had opted for a more fast-paced storyline, and with contents that actually proved entertaining.
While "No Such Thing" definitely had a great cast ensemble, and having actors and actresses put on good performances, it just wasn't sufficient enough to make up for a very mundane and uneventful storyline.
Visually then "No Such Thing" was rather spectacular. First of all, there is the Icelandic nature as backdrop and scenery, which is just spectacular. But the special effect and make-up on The Monster (played by Robert John Burke) was just amazing. I really liked what they did there and how it looked. That definitely counted for something in an otherwise stale and mundane movie.
My rating of "No Such Thing" settles on a very bland and mediocre five out of ten stars, as that is how I felt the entertainment level of the movie was. I am sure that there is something to be enjoyed for hardcore fans of Sarah Polley in this movie, but for a casual viewer, then "No Such Thing" is something of an acquired taste.
Reviewed by Theo Robertson4 / 10
What Is It Trying To Be ?
I had absolutely no knowledge of this film before watching it . Taking a quick glance at Wikipedia I found it was a horror film that received a very limited release in 2002 in three cinemas and was quickly released on to DVD . One can instantly understand why it flopped and why the distributors might have been embarrassed by it . It opens with a monster talking in to a tape recorder but the make up on this monster is so amateurish and inept that I thought I was watching some sort of meta-fictional play within a film . This feeling was reinforced by the tone of the mis-en-scene which in no way feels like it belongs in any type of horror movie so much so I thought I might be watching another film titled NO SUCH THING but as the titles came up it confirmed this was the film I referenced on Wikipedia
The film itself isn't entirely inept where the technicalities such as editing and cinematography are concerned though the incidental music seems entirely inappropriate . In fact the whole tone feels inappropriate . It's not camp but does make pretensions towards being art house cinema . If you're expecting a horror film then you're going to be disappointed because it feels more like a fairytale but it's difficult to see what audience this fairytale will appeal to
Reviewed by hokeybutt6 / 10
Art-house Fairy Tale
NO SUCH THING (3 outta 5 stars) A weird kind of project for indy art movie writer/director Hal Hartley... a modern day version of "Beauty and the Beast". A heavily made-up Robert John Burke is "The Beast", a near-immortal monster living as far from humanity as he can. Unfortunately, people still keep seeking him out, causing him to respond with violence. All he really wants is the peace of death... and when pretty, young reporter Sarah Polley is taken to him as a sort of sacrifice he offers to spare her life if she'll help him find a missing scientist who may be able to grant him his fondest wish. The movie starts out well... the monster gets some funny, earthy dialogue and the tentative relationship with "The Beauty" doesn't seem too forced. Towards the end, however, the story seems to fall apart a bit... becoming less believable and a little unfocused. The movie concludes in grand "art movie" style... with a series of arty crosscuts and fades that look very stylish... but don't really bring things to a satisfying close.