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Review Uncut Gems (2019): Both Adam Sandler and the Safdie brothers fail to deliver.

genre: crime, drama, thriller

Uncut Gems should have been the one film that would show that Adam Sandler really can act like he did in Reign over Me and that he is more than a one trick pony. Perhaps this wasn't the goal but it would have made things more interesting.

Not that he is bad or anything. But there aren't really moments or scenes in Uncut Gems that truly make him shine. He also isn't helped by the weak plot. Yes, a lot of the tension and drama resides underneath the surface but you don't get to see enough what Howard Ratner is about. Most of what we get to see is him at his worst. We never ever get to see how he was before. Unless he always have been like this. But if this were the case Howard should have been in a far bigger mess than presented. Although it's pretty close. His wife is about to divorce him because of his affair with Julia. It is implied there are more reasons for his wife to do so. But this doesn't get explored as much as I would have liked. His mistress Julia also can't truly be trusted as she seems to have the tendency to sleep around with men and women. Howard also is in debt with some people for large sums of money. It has gotten to the point that they are willing to get violent with him in order to push him to pay.  Therefore he has put all his hope on some uncut opals he managed to get his hands on which will allow him to get out of debt and solve most of his problems. Naturally things don't go as planned.

There were more than enough moments where Howard and other characters could and should have had significant dialogues. Instead we get a lot of screaming and chaos. Most of the people in Uncut Gems seem to have very little to no patience. Nor do they really pay attention. What truly is most aggravating is the fact that some of the actions taken by these characters are incredibly illogical and unrealistic. It is expected of you to accept events as they are without giving context or substance to give a damn. For example. Howard's wife obviously is pissed off at Howard for cheating on her. But we never get to see how things were between her and him before the affair. Her character and actions are never explored. Through dialogue they could have given us more which is simply neglected. With a runtime of around 135 minutes that is quite shameful.

I don't know. Maybe I was expecting more substance or depth. Or at least a story that had more impact. Apart from a few scenes I wasn't really invested. Nor did I find Uncut Gems to be compelling. I know Adam Sandler can do better, much better. His performance is nothing special really. So in my opinion both Adam Sandler and the the Safdie brothers fail to deliver. Actually I found the whole film to be a total waste of time. Avoid!

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