Main Plot Points:
- Knight of Cups follows writer Rick (Christian Bale, The Fighter, American Hustle) on an odyssey through the playgrounds of Los Angeles and Las Vegas as he undertakes a search for love and self. Even as he moves through a desire-laden landscape of mansions, resorts, beaches and clubs, Rick grapples over complicated relationships with his brother (Wes Bentley) and father (Brian Dennehy). His quest to break the spell of his disenchantment takes him on a series of adventures with six alluring women: rebellious Della (Imogen Poots); his physician ex-wife, Nancy (Cate Blanchett); a serene model Helen (Freida Pinto); a woman he wronged in the past Elizabeth (Natalie Portman); a spirited, playful stripper Karen (Teresa Palmer); and an innocent Isabel (Isabel Lucas), who helps him see a way forward.
- Rick moves in a daze through a strange and overwhelming dreamscape — but can he wake up to the beauty, humanity and rhythms of life around him? The deeper he searches, the more the journey becomes his destination.
What We Thought:
After seeing Knight of Cups I’m officially done with Terrence Malick. I didn’t like The Tree of Life and hated To the Wonder even more. This is even worse than those. The Tree of Life at least attempted a story even though it threw an IMAX Big Bang Theory mini-movie into its second act. To the Wonder had no story and was just pretty women dancing and moving in dresses with Ben Affleck looking over his shoulder a lot.
This is about Christian Bale who’s a film writer or producer or something (they don’t really make it clear other than he works in Hollywood). He goes around dating pretty women and talking and walking around the beach and talking and going to parties and talking. I have absolutely no idea what this film is about. He has a brother and a dad and they make appearances and he talks some more. He gets robbed and then talks some more. He goes from one pretty woman to another. He was married to Cate Blanchett, I think. Natalie Portman makes an appearance as does Freida Pinto. Teresa Palmer as well. Some other pretty women show up at random points.
There’s a lot of cameos including Nick Offerman, Antonio Banderas, Thomas Lennon, Nick Kroll and more. Don’t ask me why they are there, I have no idea. Bale talks to some of them. Then they all go away.
The worst part is, the cinematography is beautiful just like his previous two films. But beautiful cinematography can’t make up for a lack of story, structure and overall movie-ness. Malick has made some fantastic films in the past, but for whatever reason, from The Tree of Life forward, his films seem like nonsense to me. There’s some existential message to them, but I don’t get it. Even people who liked his previous two films didn’t like this one. I don’t know anyone who did actually. I don’t even know why this is getting the 1 star it’s getting. It probably should be lower.
Notable Cast & Crew:
- Christian Bale
- Terrence Malick
- Cate Blanchett
- Teresa Palmer
- Natalie Portman
Recommended if You Like:
- The Tree of Life
- To the Wonder
- Terrence Malick