By midlandsmovies, Sep 23 2018 05:40PM
Fahrenheit 451 (2018) Dir. Ramin Bahrani
Based on the classic Ray Bradbury dystopian novel, Fahrenheit 451 stars Michael Shannon as officious Fire Captain John Beatty who “protects” society with his clan of authoritarian book-burners.
Michael B. Jordan is idealistic Ministry recruit Guy Montag whose growing doubts question whether destroying art is really for the benefit of its citizens. In a new twist, the book’s ‘Phoenix from the Flames’ allegory is brought to scientific life as bird DNA is actually encoded with the words of elusive texts to preserve them forever.
Sofia Boutella as Clarisse McClellan, Khandi Alexander as Toni Morrison and Lilly Singh as Raven round out a fine cast – and as fine as these heavyweights are, it’s with a sad heart that none of the actors can raise this by-the-numbers (or should that be ‘letters’) adaptation.
Going through the motions with fine sci-fi ideas that fail to truly engage, Fahrenheit 451 could be held as a timely reminder of the growing power of government on art, words (and today’s journalism) and the media.
But rather than a full exploration, we get the York Notes version of a complex novel, watered-down into a brief summary with added 21st Century special effects and a few contemporary anxieties.