Danny Boyle and Leonardo DiCaprio teaming up to bring Alex Garland’s fantastical vacation novel to the big screen should have been killer, but it ended up being a hollow depiction of a classic idea posited by stoner groups everywhere: “What if we started a commune, man.” Francois summed up the entire film when she shut down Richard’s thirst as he tried to spit astronomy-based game: “This is just the kind of pretentious bullshit that Americans always say to French girls so they can sleep with them.” To be fair, there were moments of joyous escapism. But they were promptly soiled by the pseudo-intellectual bullshit that Leo’s character espouses. And the surrealistic interruptions, which could have provided a Lynchian spark, ended up more cheesy than avant-garde.
(Side-note: Leonardo DiCaprio did not age from ages 18 to 32. In The Beach he was a 25-year-old playing a 24-year-old who easily could have passed for 18.)