Stonewall full movie review - Terrible Script = Bad Film
Roland Emmerich will always be known for his work in big budget films.
The director has such iconic titles as Independence Day, Stargate and
The Day After Tomorrow on his resume and usually his name on a film
poster means 'big' and 'loud'.
But that doesn't mean a director can't
stretch its legs every once and a while and that is exactly what
Emmerich has done with Stonewall his new film that chronicles actual
events in 1969 New York.
Stonewall follows the experience of Danny Winters (Jeremy Irvine) who
is forced out of his small mid-American town after he is discovered to
be a homosexual. This is 1969. Homosexuals in America were not allowed
to hold government jobs. They were not allowed to congregate. They were
not allowed alcohol. Danny's unaccepting parents and his lack of
understanding from his peers lead force him to travel to New York City
where he finds refuge in Greenwich Village with other homeless
homosexual, lesbian and transgender individuals in what is known as the
The area to which the Inn is located is anything but safe. Crime, drugs
and the mafia have an ever presence in the community and the residents
are continually harassed by the over anxious and homophobic police. The
police continually raid the bars to which the group congregate until
one such day when the community rises up to their oppressor and fight
back in what is considered a landmark of the LGBT movement. Danny and
his new found friends are at the heart of the rebellion and it is their
'we're not gonna take it anymore' attitude that leads to violence and a
dramatic shift in the movement.
Emmerich has never been known for his strong characters and intelligent
dialogue. But he outdoes himself here with stupid verbal exchanges from
his characters that is so bad you would think it was a foreign
non-English speaking director who doesn't have a grasp of the English
language allowing such dead dialogue.
The incomprehensible dialogue only makes for worse acting among the
cast. Not a single character in the film is likable or relatable. With
the exception of Danny they come across as thugs, thieves and drug
addicts. Hard to lean to their side of the conflict when its routine
for them to steal from local stores and throw bricks through storefront
windows for trivial fashion accessories. Still, even if we were to
overlook their flaws the acting is trite and hollow with not a single
character rising above the script pages.
Only recognizable face Ron Perlman is able to escape without wrath, but
he has such little work to do in the film that it is clear he was only
added to the feature to at least have one familiar name on the marquee.
The filmmakers likely believed that the final reel of their film would
bring an audience to its feet. To have people inspired and applauding
in the victory the legacy of the real life event. Instead, it brought
snores. It brought the painful realization that you just spent 129
minutes watching something that you hoped would give you better insight
into a piece of our history but instead was a painful experience where
the checking of our wrists for the latest time was our utmost
importance as we counted down the minutes.
This is easily Emmerich's biggest pratfall. Not only is it his worst
film of his filmography but it is also a front runner for the worst
film of the year.
Side note: There were protesters outside the cinema to where Stonewall
had its screening protesting the inaccurate portrayal of the events.
The protesters likely had not seen the film. If they had they would
know that the inaccuracies are the least of the films concerns.