The Riot Club is neither funny nor does it hold any sort of complexity to make it appealing. It is a bunch of generic looking white boys, with money, who do as they please and pay off whoever they can. That is if they can.
Trigger Warning(s): Vomit Inducing Moment
Characters & Story
We begin things on a light note, a young man named Miles (Max Irons) meeting a young woman named Lauren (Holliday Grainger) and falling in love. But then Miles decides to go through the initiation of The Riot Club. An Oxford organization which values excessive debauchery, and a good time, all of which is seemingly geared to live to the fullest potential of “Boys will be boys.” However, this year things are different. For one, the usual 10 member club is having issues getting to that number, and then there is one party in which things go horribly wrong. So wrong it threatens the would-be brotherhood and between Miles and another member named Alistair (Sam Claflin), it seems someone is going down.
I will admit that when the film first began, and there was an old English aristocrat having sex with someone’s wife, I thought I was in for quite a few laughs. After all, the insanely rich doing as they please and getting away with it really could only lead to two options: ridiculously funny moments, with a few heart touching ones to humanize them, or just watching the rich abuse their privilege and see as far as it can take them. Guess which one this film unfortunately did?
The biggest issue of this film to me is that no one of the film is easily identifiable. For, as said in one of the later scenes of the movie, “They all look the same.” Making it so unless you are a fan of any of the previous actor’s work, as I am of Olly Alexander, everyone pretty much blends into a sea of white boys with money. This even includes Miles who, despite being rather likable, I found hard to distinguish from the rest multiple times until his name was said.
As for other issues in the film? Well, first of all it isn’t funny; its commentary on the place of the rich, and politics, isn’t strongly compelling, though perhaps it is because I disagree with the person who argues for the rich; and ultimately it doesn’t have the type of feel that perhaps films like these need to balance out the imagery of over privileged douche bags. For, in my opinion, not a single one of the actors get a good enough back story to not only differentiate them from the rest but to really humanize them so that you can perhaps understand how they became who they are.
Overall: Skip It
For every obscure film I find is good, I feel like I find 5 okay ones, and then one serious waste of time. This is that one serious waste of time. For between the criticism mentioned above, and Natalie Dormer and Jessica Brown-Findlay barely being in the movie, I feel this movie isn’t worth even worth renting for less than $5. It is forgettable, peaks within the first 10 minutes, and is nothing but a sea of whiteness in which not a single person benefits from this movie, and strangely isn’t hurt by it since every last character is as generic as a character could be written.
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