Saturday, July 25, 2015
Paper Towns Review
If you've never heard of Paper Towns and "based off of a John Green novel" is not enough to attract you to the theaters, let me quickly describe the fun and genius nature of this plot before I pick apart its imperfections. Our movie is about this high school kid named Quentin. He's a pretty by-the-books sort of kid who's always doing what he's supposed to and never getting trouble. He gets straight A's in his classes and he has plans on going to a prestigious college followed by Medical School and all that jazz. You get the picture. Our other main character is a girl named Margo. She's almost the exact opposite. She's probably not a bad student, per se, but she's a lot less interested in school and more interested in all these crazy adventures that could potentially get her in a whole lot of trouble. Quentin, of course, is madly in love with Margo and has been since she moved across the street from him when they were younger. They used to even hang out all the time until they grew apart. One day towards the end of his senior year in high school, she shows up at his window and forces him to go on all these crazy adventures with her and he has the night of his life. Then Margo disappears the next day and Quentin and his two best friends go on a treasure hunt to try and find her.
Another thing that I enjoyed about this movie was that our characters had a decent amount of depth to them. There's this one girl in particular that plays the hot girl and she gets upset that people can only see her as the hot girl and not the smart, intelligent girl that she really is. It wasn't cheesy. It was emotional and well-played. Also impressive was the acting in the movie. All of these young adults did a very good job. Some of these people are fairly new actors. If I threw out the names Austin Abrams, Justice Smith, and Halston Sage, you'd probably have no idea who I'm talking about because they haven't really been in anything. But they gave the type of performance in this where I'd think that they all have a bright future ahead of them. On the other hand, if I say the names Nat Wolff and Cara Delevigne, there's a much higher chance of you recognizing them. Wolff was also in The Fault in Our Stars and has been in other movies such as Stuck in Love and Palo Alto. Delevigne has done a lot of modelling work and was also in Anna Karenina. She also has big roles in the upcoming movies Pan and Suicide Squad, so if you don't know her now, you will soon. Both of them were great in this.
As you can see, there are plenty of great aspects of this movie. Where it kinda derailed for me was the final part of the movie. I'm not going to share why on this post as that would be a spoiler, but I will say that it reminded me a bit of Tomorrowland from earlier this Summer. It was fun going on the journey to Tomorrowland, but once we got there it was fairly lame and boring. Same principles here. There are aspects of the ending that I did actually appreciate, but at the same time I was not happy with how things turned out. Then I got to thinking that if they had done things differently, I would've also had issues, so it was kind of a lose/lose situation based on how they set it up. When I thought about what the root of this issue was, my conclusions were that these characters felt pretty fake and unrealistic. Better words might be that they are idealistic or romanticized teenagers. The parents and adults in this movie, or the lack thereof, are a huge part of the problem. These kids can do whatever they want without suffering any consequences whatsoever. Cara Delevigne's character of Margo was especially bad. I actually really loved Cara's performance. She's a beautiful and talented actress. But the more I think about her character, the more I realize how hokey of an idea she is. Thus sadly the more I thought about this movie, the more it just fell apart for me.
No Paper Towns is not a bad movie. I had fun with it. It's led by a great trio of friends who are an absolute blast to watch. They are all very different from each other, yet as friends that have super good chemistry. The movie is especially fun when Margo disappears and sends them on a treasure hunt to find her. The movie will certainly instill in you a sense of adventure. It made me want to go out and do something. But after everything wrapped up, it felt like there was a lot things that were missing in the movie. A lot of the writing didn't make sense when I thought about and a lot of the characters I felt did things and got away with things that normal teenagers wouldn't do or wouldn't get away with. As far as a recommendation, if you liked The Fault in Our Stars or you are a fan of John Green, go see this movie. If you are a teenager reading this review, go see this movie. If you're not sure about it, my recommendation would be to go find Me and Earl and the Dying Girl instead or even go rent The DUFF. They are similar movies to this that are far superior. My grade for Paper Towns is a 7/10.