The opening credits may prattle off stills of beasts in the wild – lions, zebras, cheetahs and the like – but they’ve got nothing on the deliciously devious Argentinean anthology (and 2015 Best Foreign Film nominee) "Wild Tales" and its cast of civilized animals, their claws all out and bloody for revenge. And as the famous phrase goes, revenge is a dish best served six times and mercilessly. Or something like that.
The prologue nicely sets the table for the feast of fun-size razor blade-filled candy bars to come. On a flight, two passengers – a music critic and a model – make tepidly flirtatious banter before they realize they both know the same guy: Pasternak. Another passenger chimes in; she knew this Pasternak fellow too. And so did the guy behind her and the guy behind him, and the chain reaction keeps going all the way to cockpit, where the black-hearted punch line sits.
Considering current headlines, the timing for a dark comedic short about a mentally unstable pilot could not be worse. But that’s not the movie’s fault (it’s been out nationwide since February, well before the Germanwings tragedy) and other than that, it’s a perfectly bitter pill of a segment, with writer-director Damian Szifron cleverly turning the mundane into murder on an unpredictable dime.
Szifron keeps that amusingly twisty and twisted sensibility going into "The Rats," where a slow night at a diner boils over when a waitress is forced to serve a condescending gangster-turned-politician from her tragic past. The short is probably the weakest of the bunch; the ending stumbles to the finish, writing itself into a bit of corner and escaping with the help of a chaotic bloody copout. That said, it’s still a funny and tense little number, with plenty of Szifron’s vicious barbed wire turns.
The scathing hilarity picks up with "The Strongest," the most epic road rage battle this side of the "Mad Max" franchise. A wealthy guy flying down the highway runs into a slow …Read more...