"Mind-numbingly crap. Linklater shoots himself in the foot... again."
Holy mother of sadism, this is the most painful experience I've been through since circumcision. How a director like Richard Linklater could make such a hokey, arty, boring piece of drek is beyond me. I've chewed snot that left me with a better aftertaste (although, not since I was four, thanks for asking) and quite frankly, I've never seen so many people walk out of a press screening in my life. Not even Raw Deal, with it's plentiful footage of an alleged rape, had as many people leave as this one.But that's not to say that I have eighty-five others from that audience cheering me on as I write this review. In fact, some have gone as far as to claim it's the best of the fest. These are clearly people who spent hours talking Satre with their philosophy major friends in too-dark coffee shops over the course of their youth. These are people who will tell their friends, "Hey, let's smoke a bowl and throw on Linklater's Waking Life and Peter Gabriel's Sledgehammer video! We'll spin out, dude!"
Waking Life is an animated... I don't even know. A guy is in a dream and he keeps meeting people who talk like a philosophy professor when they get way too drunk and just don't know when to stop. The talk goes on and on and on and, yes, there's a point but it's really well obscured and not that pointy.
So what is the point? It seems to be to either show off a funky new animation technique (which, credit where it's due, is rather impressive) or send the audience into the very dream-like state the hero of the show takes on. It worked for me on both counts. I mentally applauded the animation for fifteen seconds, then nodded off at least four times. In the end I only stayed because my escape was blocked on both sides by neighbouring overweight film critics.I don't know if Linklater was setting out to make a short film with a long running time, but if he had shot this as a short, it would have been very impressive and easier to watch. But he didn't, and it wasn't. It's Slacker Redux. I could have done without it.