City Press Review: A not-so-lively waste of time

2017-02-05 06:01

Johannesburg - This is one of the four films Ben Affleck starred in last year, and he also wrote the screenplay and directed it. Probably too much for one guy, even this Hollywood all-rounder.

Based on a Dennis Lehane novel, Live by Night is about a self-confessed outlaw who is transformed into a gangster after a nasty run-in with Boston’s Irish crime family. To plot his revenge, Joe Coughlin (Affleck) joins the Italian mob and is posted to Florida to set up the illegal rum trade during Prohibition. He sews up the business, puts down the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan and falls in love with Graciela, who runs the town’s best club.

There is always a reckoning coming, but the trouble with this film is that it takes well over two hours to arrive. It looks good, the performances are all more than competent, but the sum of all the parts is a rather dreary, long-winded meander back in time. What a waste of a film that brings together the likes of Chris Cooper, Elle Fanning, Brendan Gleeson and Zoe Saldana.

A disappointing effort from one of the industry’s best-performing actors-slash-directors-slash-screenwriters-slash-producers. You’d be better off going out for a rum, because you’ll need one if you sit through this.

Read more on:    ben affleck  |  movies  |  live by night

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