The Conservative Critic
Is Kimi Different From Every Other Thriller?
Kimi is the newest HBOMax produced film directed by Steven Soderbergh of Ocean’s franchise fame. Kimi is meant to be a thriller of the modern age but does it live up to the hype?
The conservative critic will ask: is it entertaining? Does it have artistic/intellectual value? And is it liberal propaganda?
The Conservative Critic Meter Check: Kimi
Overall rating: Fine – (minus)
Despite critics for some reason raving about this film, I thought it was pretty bad. Its basically the same movie as Rear Window (for which all other films involving women seeing murders out a window are based) only instead of seeing the murder, the heroine Angela Childs played by Zoe Kravitz (Big Little Lies, The Batman) hears it through a very contrived set up involving a fictional “Alexa” type device called Kimi per the film’s title.
The movie uses the exact same tropes that The Women Across the Street from the Girl in the Window tries to mock in spoof including an agoraphobic leading woman on a bunch of pills with a ridiculous emotional backstory which in this case involves COVID-19 emotional trauma. What’s funny is that the tropes are what make the movie entertaining (formulas are formulas for a reason) but also why critics should have hated it but instead celebrated it likely because they can’t resist the use of COVID-19 as a plot point and villain in the characters’ emotional trauma.
Kimi follows an extremely predictable and played out storyline that Zoe Kravitz performs extremely well and makes fun to watch and concludes with an almost Home Alone style cartoonish battle between heroes and baddies. It is a fun watch thanks to the Rear Window formula and Kravitz but it is definitely liberal and extremely pedestrian.
Is it entertaining?
Rating: Surprisingly enjoyable
One thing Kimi has going for it is that despite being extremely predictable, it is surprisingly enjoyable. As the big bad tech villains are slowly revealed and Kravitz’s Angela becomes embroiled in scandal far beyond her comfort level, viewers are able to get tangled up in the story and even allow themselves to pretend they don’t know exactly how it will play out. Soderbergh throws in a few cheap jump scares (falling glass, loud musical blast when revealing a hidden foe) to push viewer anxiety to its full potential. Had it not been so predictable, it might have been fully entertaining.
Does it have intellectual/artistic value?
Rating: Pretty lame
The story is stolen and the characters are stale. The problems with the story are so pervasive it’s almost a better parody than the Kristen Bell project mentioned earlier. Kimi literally has a woman change her hair color and start wearing dresses at the end of the movie cause she feels better about herself now. Which is literally the description of “stupid female character tropes” in the film dictionary. The “Alexa” type Kimi device is framed as an almost human hero and there are a series of absurdist setups to create the exact landscape necessary to conveniently make the plot failures work such as (SPOILERS):
Why doesn’t the character just call the police when she hears the muder? Don’t worry she has had problems with cops before.
How did she even hear this murder? Don’t worry the Kimi device is different from Alexa cause a live person corrects errors. Also the main character has an amp for some reason which helped her isolate sounds.
Why don’t the bad guys just kill her right away? Don’t worry there is a protest in the street so people were ready to pull women out of vans and not ask questions.
Why would someone stop anyone from entering the apartment building and just killing her at home? Don’t worry we have established that a neighbor watches her from the window and knows her habits.
How would a teeny tiny female combat a handful of armed hired hitmen? Don’t worry there is construction upstairs and therefore lots of weapons and supplies also they can’t see in the dark and she told Kimi to turn off the lights even though she has literally massive curtainless windows in a big city where ambient light would be extremely bright.
It’s a big messy mess with no originality or sense made whatsoever. Not a twist or turn to be had. Things were exactly as they seemed the entire time.
The only reason it is not ranked totally meritless is that Zoe Kravitz does actually do a very good job making the material work at all.
Is it liberal propaganda?
Rating: COVID fantasyland
A blue haired woman’s agoraphobia is exacerbated because COVID-19 kept her inside. Big tech is evil but also the hero of the story. These are liberal problems. COVID-19 wouldn’t have kept a conservative inside and also we are not sympathetic to those who cling to the mental illness isolation has caused. It’s not heroic to blow off your therapist because COVID made you sad.
Also liberals really cannot decide if they hate or love big tech. It’s a little hilarious. On the one hand, evil corporate CEOs are the villains of the story and its a bit ominous that the Kimi devices are listening to so much happening from their users. On the other, its ultimately the Kimi devices ability to listen which brings justice to a murder victim and saves the heroine’s life. So which is it? Is big tech evil or are they bringing us value by spying on us?
Finally, there was an extremely sexist and tired plot element where the blue haired girl who wears t-shirts and sweats the whole movie switches to pink hair and floral dresses at the end and leaves her apartment despite her mental illness because she is ostensibly “cured.” Its so funny how the “feminist” left never sees its own sexism which is so prevelant in their culture. It’s extremely sexist to imply that this woman dealing with her deep dark back story and rocking some blue hair would physically manifest healing through a switch to, of all colors, pink and of all outfits, a floral dress. Don’t get me wrong I love pink and florals, but its a bit rude to assume that those are the markers of a well woman. Well women have many different tastes.