The Master Cleanse (2016)

The Master Cleanse
Director: Bobby Miller
Writer: Bobby Miller
Cast: Johnny Galecki, Anna Friel, Anjelica Huston, Oliver Platt, Kyle Gallner, Kevin J. O’Connor, Diana Bang, Loretta Walsh
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 29.9.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

Paul (Johnny Galecki) was just dumped by his fiancée and is looking for a new direction in life. That’s when he sees the ad for a new retreat and on a whim, he decides to go, to purge the last traces of the break-up and start a new chapter in his life. With him on the retreat is Maggie (Anna Friel) among others. The retreat is run by Lily (Anjelica Huston) and it starts normal enough with a juice cleanse. But the effects of that juice is very different from what is usually done at retreats like this.

The Master Cleanse was funny, if way too predictable. It doesn’t exactly cut deep, but it’s an enteraining film. 

One of the reasons I just couldn’t get into The Master Cleanse all that much was the fact that it announces every plot point so loudly, I was always at least a couple of minutes ahead of events actually unfolding, which took some of the pleasure out of watching them actually happening. Plus, I don’t know how often I have watched a film with a slightly strange dude in the lead who was just shit on by some woman and is now very, very sad. It’s not the best way to start a film for me.

But what I found actively annoying was the fact that they had to massively gender the creatures. Paul’s thing is blue, Maggie’s thing is pink and has, if I remember correctly, eyelashes – in any case, it looks very much female. That was sexist and nothing else. Just as it was a very racist decision to have the only person of color in the film die first. We should be beyond shit like that by now.

Other than that, though, I did enjoy the film. The cast was great, above all Anjelica Huston with Anna Friel a close second. And I did like the general idea of the cleanse itself and how that turns out. For both cast and idea I would have liked juicier characters to work with, but it still worked with the characters we got.

It’s a film that flows along at a nice pace with good jokes here and there and that is enjoyable to watch. But it takes you neither very high nor very low in its course.

Summarizing: Good but not great.

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