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“Sunrise” Movie Review, Live Streaming & Download

sunrise 2024

“You know what he feeds on? Fear.”

Generic dialogue and lack of character depth kills the sometimes promising “Sunrise,” which works best when it has a grit that reminds one of the best vampire flicks of all time, “Near Dark,” but that doesn’t happen nearly enough. Once again, we’re in a dark corner of the world, a place where hate is allowed to grow, and not all of the monsters are supernatural. The best elements of “Sunrise” play with that latter idea, arguing that racism and violence are more terrifying than bloodsuckers, but the film too often feels like the story of a MAGA monster and the brutality he inflicts on an immigrant family onto which a vampire story was unsuccessfully grafted. It tries to pull at various threads about outsiders being pushed out of a place that used to welcome them, but it’s blunt when it needs to be nuanced and opaque when it could stand to spell a few things out. This is an extremely self-serious dirge of a movie with a sharp performance from Guy Pearce, but no idea what to do with him or the decent ideas it has under its surface.

Pearce is so consistently good in any genre, and he sinks his teeth (get it?) into the role of Reynolds, a character introduced with a string of racial slurs. In his best scene, he gives an impassioned speech about how men used to work the soil and defend the country. Pearce nails a certain kind of miserable villain, a woe-is-me type who blames everyone else for his problems and takes with force anything he thinks some sort of higher power has granted him as a white male. He’s not just racist and violent, he’s kind of pathetic, and Pearce really gets at that aspect of Reynolds, someone who wants to “make America great again” mostly because he knows that the current one has no use for men like him.

Of course, men like Reynolds are threatened by the very existence of an immigrant family in town named Loi, and the first scene centers this conflict between his family and the Lois as the villain spews hatred at the patriarch (Chike Chan). His son Edward (William Gao) is bullied in school and Edward’s mother Yan (Crystal Yu) fights for survival. They end up guardians of the most brooding stranger in cinema in ages named Fallon (Alex Pettyfer), who turns out to be a creature of the night with an old grudge against Reynolds. Pettyfer mopes his way through “Sunrise” with an underwritten character who consists mostly of foreboding glares into the distance and pregnant pauses designed to create tension but really just draw attention to themselves.

“Sunrise” is a film that fails so thoroughly at building momentum that I was startled to realize it was nearing its end. There’s one strong performance here but nothing else to hold onto in a film that never comes together thematically or narratively. (It doesn’t help that the whole thing looks way too great with over-done lighting and a notable lack of the kind of tactile depth this genre flick needs for it to work). It’s a film that has so many ideas that feel half-baked, and so regularly feels like it’s a short script being stretched out into feature length. It’s a movie that literally vamps to get to the closing credits.

 

Sunrise movie poster

Sunrise (2024)

Rated R

84 minutes

Cast

Guy Pearceas Reynolds

Alex Pettyferas Fallon

Olwen Fouéréas Ma Reynolds

Crystal Yuas Yan Loi

William Gaoas Edward

Kurt Yaegeras Gillespie

Richard Pettyferas Sam Johnson

Forrest Bothwellas Petrie

Riley Chungas Emily

Chike Chanas Mr. Loi

Director

  • Andrew Baird

Screenplay

  • Ronan Blaney

“Sunrise” Movie Review, Live Streaming & Download Movie Review, Live Streaming & Download

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