Review: WE ARE BOATS Is Shipwrecked By Melodrama

FIRST IMPRESSION

We Are Boats brings some intriguing ideas to the table, but fails to fully develop them, delivering an end result that is messy and frustrating.
Writing
Directing
Acting
Technical Merit

We Are Boats is a new fantasy film written and directed by James Bird. It follows a spirit who, trying to earn the closure she so desperately seeks following her own untimely death, works to provide that closure to others. It has played at festivals including the AFI World Peace Initiative Film Festival and the Orlando Film Festival.

For a concept as intriguing as this, it’s a shame that the end result isn’t particularly interesting at all. The idea of an agency of spirits that works to provide closure to people before they die is really cool. Unfortunately, this is not explored in any deep way, so much of the mythology surrounding the agency is left ambiguous.

It also feels like the premise is wasted on a story that is significantly underwhelming. The movie is little more than a generic melodrama, and not a compelling one at that. It seems like the film was aiming to have a subtle, smaller-scale story, and that simply wasn’t compatible with the complex world which it was trying to build.

we are boats aduba

One of the most noticeable issues with the script is that it feels extremely contrived. Large, sprawling ensemble pieces like this almost always struggle with this issue. Because there are so many different storylines, they have to be tied together to keep the audience’s attention while the movie jumps between them. The way in which these storylines are tied together feels cheesy and ridiculous, even within the already fantasy-based context of the story.

The film also feels relatively weak in terms of character development. All of the characters fit very clear archetypes and don’t do very much to defy them over the course of the movie. Because of this, it becomes hard to relate to or even care about them. Had the characters actually been given personalities, they would have been much more sympathetic and the film would have been more compelling as a whole.

we are boats greene

That being said, the actors do manage to give relatively strong performances despite the weak material they were given. The biggest standout is likely Graham Greene, who gives a small but powerful supporting turn. Although it may not be among his greatest work, Greene is still able to make the character one of the best parts of the movie through his normal charm. The rest of the cast, including Angela Sarafyan, Uzo Aduba, and Luke Hemsworth, are solid as well.

In technical terms, the film is a bit of a mixed bag. Although the cinematography by Stefan Colson is solid, with some interesting shots and some unique visuals that really drive home the fantasy elements, the color scheme of the movie is rather muted. The film as a whole looks and feels cold and grey. For a movie that is supposed to be emotionally-driven, this wasn’t really effective.

Overall, We Are Boats was a rather disappointing film. Despite a strong cast and an intriguing premise, it never really manages to come together because of the overwhelming melodrama.

We Are Boats opens in theaters March 8 and is available on DVD and VOD on March 26.

TRENDING THIS WEEK

The Best Bloopers from Lucifer | Netflix

Turns out that even the devil gets embarrassed sometimes. Enjoy this collection of the best unintended moments, breaks, and unidentified insect attacks from Lucifer. As the fallen angel himself cried as he fell from heaven: "Line?" Watch Lucifer, Only on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/title/81149425 SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/29qBUt7 About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service with…

AXIOS on HBO: Melinda Gates on U.S. Leadership & COVID-19 Crisis (Clip) | HBO

Melinda Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, discusses leadership as the major determining factor in the impact of COVID-19 in the United States. #HBO #AxiosOnHBO #MelindaGates Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: https://goo.gl/wtFYd7 Known for delivering news, coverage, and insight with a distinctive brand of smart brevity, Axios on HBO helps viewers better…

Star Trek Day 2020 | Lower Decks Panel

In honor of Star Trek Day, host Mica Burton sits down with Star Trek: Lower Decks Creator, Showrunner and Executive Producer Mike McMahan and voice cast members Tawny Newsome (Beckett Mariner), Jack Quaid (Brad Boimler), Noël Wells (Tendi) and Eugene Cordero (Rutherford). The group discusses favorite moments from the debut season, what it's been like…

We Are Who We Are: Meet the Characters | Britney, Sam, Craig, Enrico, and Jonathan | HBO

Francesca Scorsese, Ben Taylor, Corey Knight, Sebastiano Pigazzi, and Tom Mercier introduce you to their characters in the new series from Luca Guadagnino. #HBO #WeAreWhoWeAre #BenTaylor #FrancescaScorsese #CoreyKnight #SebastianoPigazzi #TomMercier Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: https://goo.gl/wtFYd7 From Luca Guadagnino, the director of Call Me By Your Name, We Are Who We Are follows a group…

Archer | Nope | FXX

Yup. Nope. Yuuuuup. Nooooope. Archer returns for an all-new season 9/16 on FXX – Next day FX on Hulu. Subscribe now for more Archer clips: http://bit.ly/SubscribeFX In season 11 of FXX‘s comedy Archer, “Sterling Archer“ is ready to return to the spy world after a three-year coma. While many things changed during his absence, Archer…

Star Trek: Lower Decks – Introducing Badgey (Ep. 6, “Terminal Provocations”)

Ensign Rutherford (Eugene Cordero) and Ensign Tendi (Noël Wells) give Rutherford's new computer program—and its helpful assistant, Badgey—a spin. Stream all-new episodes of Star Trek: Lower Decks on Thursdays, exclusively in the U.S. on CBS All Access. Subscribe To "CBS All Access" Channel HERE: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrRttZIypNTA1Mrfwo745Sg For more content from "Star Trek: Lower Decks," click HERE:…

How To with John Wilson: Official Teaser | HBO

Buckle up, baby. From Executive Producer Nathan Fielder, How To with John Wilson premieres Oct 23 at 11PM on @HBOMax. #HBO #HBODocs Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: https://goo.gl/wtFYd7 Stream on HBO Max: http://itsh.bo/hbo-max Get More HBO Official Site: https://itsh.bo/dotcom Twitter: https://twitter.com/HBODocs Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hbo Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hbodocs How To with John Wilson: Official Teaser | HBO

Lovecraft Country Radio: Strange Case | Episode 5 | HBO

In this episode of Lovecraft Country Radio, hosts Ashley C. Ford and Shannon Houston discuss Episode 5: "Strange Case." Eric Eddings, host of The Nod Show and For Colored Nerds, joins the conversation to discuss how black male anger is portrayed in the episode. The hosts also discuss the different forms that code-switching can take…
Avatar
Sean Boelman
Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here