BRITISH director Ben Wheatley has achieved cult status for his clever, genre-bending low budget movies.
After Down Terrace and Kill List, I began to wonder how this unique talent would cope with a bigger canvas.
Sadly, instead of Hollywood dollars, he’s used nearly 1.4 million British Film Institute pounds to fund his most expensive movie yet.
The results are depressingly familiar. Incoherent, pretentious and painfully self-indulgent, Wheatley has got completely lost in his vast pile of lottery cash
His seemingly clever pitch was to take JG Ballard’s 1975 futuristic novel and sort of retro-fit it to the year it was written.
The setting is an alternative ’70s where a vast, concrete skyscraper represents the British class system.
Young doctor Laing (Tom Hiddleston) takes an apartment on one of the middle floors, Luke Evans’ working class lout lives on a lower level while Jeremy Irons’ toff throws lavish parties in the penthouse.
Ballad’s novel shows the utopian dreams of 70s architects turning into a very familiar nightmare.
Wheatley isn’t interested in politics, plot, characters or explaining the geography of the building. Now smugly ensconced on the upper levels, he just pleasures himself with pointless montages and clever camerawork.