‘The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman’ Review: A Pointless Yet Fun Romantic Adventure [Sundance 2013]
In terms of message, there isn’t really much to The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman. It’s a film about love and the trials and tribulations we endure for it. Which, in a way, is pretty much the theme of half the movies ever made. What makes the film so entertaining is that it’s kind of insane. Shia LaBeouf plays the title character, who ignores society and goes on a seat of his pants adventure across Bucharest, embracing every impulse and never knowing what’s coming next. The audience can probably see what’s coming next, but getting there is a wild, frivolous ride.
Making his feature film debut, commercial director Fredrik Bond has made a visually impressive, thematically pointless joyride tainted with drugs and blood. And if that sounds like your kind of thing, you’ll love The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman.
After the loss of his mother, played by Melissa Leo, Charlie heads to Bucharest to try and figure out his life. A chance encounter on the plane makes sure his path crosses with Gabi (Evan Rachel Wood) and immediately, Charlie’s in love. Gabi’s not a chick to be taken lightly though, especially when her boyfriend Nigel (Mads Mikkelsen) and acquaintance Darko (Til Schweiger) get involved. As solid as LeBeouf and Wood are in the film, it’s Mikkelsen and Schweiger who make the whole thing work. Simultaneously frightening and charismatic, they’re the driving force behind Charlie’s wild ride and what truly keeps us interested.
Throw in funny supporting roles by James Buckley (The Inbetweeners) and Rupert Grint (Harry Potter) as Charlie’s new friends, a crazy electronic soundtrack and Bond’s kinetic visuals and The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman is a totally pointless, vapid…really fun film to watch.