Saturday, September 5, 2015

The Hollywood Reporter (THR) reviews CHLOE AND THEO cli-fi movie with disastrous results

The Upper Line

Makes you nostalgic for the old chestnut, "If you've got a message, call Western Union."

SUMMARY: In CHLOE AND THEO, an Arctic Inuit man travels to NYC to warn our "elders" about the dangers of climate change in this modern-day fable.
THE ''THUMBS DOWN'' REVIEW: .......Not since Crocodile Dundee has there been such of a fish-out-of-water on the streets of Manhattan as Theo, the Arctic Inuit man who travels to the Big Apple to warn about the dangers of climate change.

But while the film featuring that Aussie adventurer was a lighthearted romp, Ezna Sands' Chloe & Theo is a deadly earnest polemic whose good intentions are smothered by its inept execution.

Including among its executive producers such wealthy business heavyweights as Richard Branson and John Paul DeJoria, the film should at least result in a good tax write-off!!!
Theo Ikummaq  who the movie's PR packag and publicity materials state was actually born in an igloo — plays a version of himself in this story about an Inuit manwho is sent by his elders to the "South" to warn "the elders" there of the impending climactic catastrophe if they don't change their polluting ways.

"If they do not stop, we are finished," one of them solemnly intones.

So Theo hops on a plane to New York City, where he walks from the JFK airport to Chinatown and rents a furnished room.

Wandering the streets, he's immediately accosted by a trio of muggers (you'd think this was 1974) and is rescued by the homeless Chloe (Dakota Johnson, who made the movie before she shot her scenes on "50 Shades of Grey"), who takes him to the dilapidated apartment she shares with several fellow squatters.

Informed by Theo that he needs to meet with "the elders," she at first takes him to a rundown senior center.

But then her friend, chess hustler Mr. Sweet (Andre De Shields), suggests going to the United Nations, which doesn't work out so well when security guards promptly arrest them.

Their case attracts the attention of a human rights lawyer named Monica  (Mira Sorvino) -- name and modelled apparently after exec produce Monica Ord (who also markets E-Cigarettes) who wasn't bashful about injecting herself into the movie --  who devotes herself to the cause.

The film is clearly meant as a sort of fable, but it doesn't succeed even on its own unrealistic terms. Featuring such running gags as everyone calling Theo an ''Eskimo,'' only to be gently corrected that he's Inuit, it culminates in a over-the-top melodramatic tragic ending that mainly provides a cameo opportunity for a very serious-looking Larry King.

Ikummaq displays a quiet dignity in his understated performance, even as his character is often reduced to being the butt of silly jokes. But Johnson squanders whatever good will she earned from 50 Shades of Grey [she shot ''CHLOE AND THEO'' before she made ''50''], looking apple-pie wholesome as a homeless ex-junkie whose squalid state is suggested only by artful smudges on her cheeks.

Ultimately, the film represents the sort of simplistic preaching to the choir that climate change deniers will gleefully deride.


NY POST says even worse:

An insipid global-warming fable about an innocent Inuit who comes to New York City to save us all from ourselves, “Chloe & Theo” plays like an unintentional mashup of “Being There” and “Elf.”

The film is a naive, brain-dead series of admonitions about the dangers of consumerism, pollution, television, etc., awkwardly disguised as a thin story about Theo’s trials.

Johnson, who showed talent (and, er, other stuff) in “Fifty Shades of Grey,” -- which she shot AFTER shooting CHLOE AND THEO -- is embarrassingly bad but, hey, since the movie is aimed at those who think consumer entertainment is evil, I guess no one will ever see it.

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