Don’t Worry Darling (2022): Olivia Wilde Delivers a Dose of Harry Styles Over Any and All Substance

“Don’t Worry Darling” is directed by Olivia Wilde (Booksmart, Tron: Legacy), who also stars in the film as Bunny. This film also stars Florence Pugh (Midsommar, Black Widow), Harry Styles (Dunkirk, Eternals), Gemma Chan (Eternals, Raya and the Last Dragon), KiKi Layne (If Beale Street Could Talk, The Old Guard), Nick Kroll (Big Mouth, Sausage Party), and Chris Pine (Wonder Woman, Star Trek). “Don’t Worry Darling” follows a 1950s housewife who becomes worried about her loving husband, or more specifically, his company, that could hiding disturbing secrets.

“Don’t Worry Darling” is Olivia Wilde’s sophomore outing as a feature director. Wilde previously directed “Booksmart,” which in addition to receiving positive feedback from moviegoers and critics, did a fine job at the box office with a $25 million return against a $6 million budget. Wilde showcased her ability to make a laugh-inducing comedy while not breaking the bank. As for my thoughts on the movie, I liked it. I do not think it is the funniest movie of its respective year, but it gave me some decent laughs. Based on her experience of making a funny movie, it made me curious as to what she could do next.

Now that the next thing is here, I cannot stop thinking about it. It bogs my mind like I would not believe!

No, not the movie! The press for the movie! Why is everyone so hyped up about it? Well, everyone likes drama. If reality television and gossip has continued to prove it over the years, people like drama. And the buildup to “Don’t Worry Darling” has provided plenty of it. Between Shia LeBeouf once being attached to the movie, Florence Pugh not promoting the film, and a whole charade between Harry Styles and Chris Pine over spit, “Don’t Worry Darling” was shaping up to be this year’s most entertaining story. Except it was not the story written for the screen. Regardless, I planned on seeing this movie. The marketing was creepy yet interesting enough to keep my attention. The cinematography looked really good. And for the most part, the cast was good. Florence Pugh, Chris Pine, Nick Kroll. There are some good names in here.

As for my thoughts on “Don’t Worry Darling,” the first two acts are delightfully charming and kept me intrigued throughout. Harry Styles has a ways to go as an actor, but it is a great setup for this movie’s world.

Then the turd– Sorry, THIRD act happened.

I cannot fully go into why I despise the third act and how this movie concludes because I would ultimately be spoiling the movie. That said, how these things go down are ridiculous to say the least. Does it involve something that could potentially be out of left field? You could say that. Was that the point? Perhaps. Does it change the fact that what happened felt ridiculous? Absolutely not. I do not mind out of left field scenarios if said scenario is executed well. This one is the exact opposite. Around the 60 to 90 minute mark, this movie went in one direction, and that is down.

This movie is like ordering a pizza that you will never eat. The first act is like opening up Uber Eats and getting excited over the pizza you want for dinner. Solid setup, this may be going somewhere swell… The second act is the equivalent of placing your order. You’re intrigued, you’re excited, what could go wrong? Except for absolutely everything! Because we get to the third act, where something completely unexpected happens! The restaurant blew up, and now you have no pizza! Only disappointment and frustration.

“Don’t Worry Darling” is certainly one of the better looking films of the year. The color palette of the 1950s suburban setting is poppy and felt like a pure escape. I thought the cinematography would look good based on the trailer and I would say I was not disappointed. Matthew Libatique deserves a pat on the back at the least. Everything from the costumes to the sets to the overall aesthetic of the film is top notch. It felt like another world at times. While this movie nails its looks, its story leaves much to be desired.

The cast of “Don’t Worry Darling” all deliver solid performances. This should not come as a surprise as the movie contains a fair number of big name actors, and Olivia Wilde even does a good job as her respective character. The only actor who I think struggled in terms of how seriously I could take him is Harry Styles (left). Maybe it is because of his recognizability in pop culture, regardless of how little I care for his music. Styles is not the worst actor of all time. If last year’s “Space Jam: A New Legacy” showcases anything, he is better than LeBron James. Plus he once had a supporting role in Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” that served its purpose. Although every scene he is in, I would hear a line out of someone like Florence Pugh or Chris Pine, I feel like they are in the moment, whereas Styles is trying to keep up but he does not quite have it. When it comes to recognizable actors giving corny performances, Styles is thankfully less infuriating than say Tom Hanks as Tom Parker in “Elvis,” a laughable, yet terrifyingly annoying performance I have still yet to get out of my head. Speaking of “Elvis,” “Don’t Worry Darling” feels like another version of that film. Both are from Warner Bros., both are released in 2022, and both have a lead actor that could almost be considered the saving grace.

Whereas Harry Styles may not be the hot ticket this awards season, Florence Pugh is certainly a contender for the upcoming mounds of gold. Given this movie’s controversy, who knows what will happen? But if the Oscars were tomorrow, I would debatably cast a vote for Pugh. I liked her previously in movies like “Black Widow,” “Little Women,” and the significantly underappreciated “Fighting with My Family,” but “Don’t Worry Darling” may be the best performance of Pugh’s career so far. Pugh is still young, so there is a good chance she could eventually deliver an even better performance than this one, but to have this great of a performance now is incredible, especially when I am thinking about it more than almost any other one I have seen this year.

“Don’t Worry Darling” comes with a fairly unique setting and cast of characters, and its concept is certainly one of the quirkier I have seen in a movie this year. Although as I watched this movie and heard certain lines and witnessed particular happenings, it weirdly, of all things, reminded me of Disney+’s “WandaVision.” This feels weird to say, but when it comes to this type of plot, a Marvel miniseries somehow did this better. It had its flaws, but unlike “Don’t Worry Darling,” the positives outweighed the negatives.

Much like “Morbius,” and “Jurassic World: Dominion,” if you go on the Rotten Tomatoes page for “Don’t Worry Darling,” you will notice a humungous divide between the critic and audience scores. Also much like “Morbius” and “Jurassic World: Dominion,” as I watched “Don’t Worry Darling,” I felt myself leaning towards the side of the critics. But unlike those other two films, I felt like there was a recipe for something grand when the movie started. Again, if Harry Styles were not in this movie, I would have taken it a tad more seriously. Although when the movie started, I reminisced over the low Rotten Tomatoes score I recall this movie having, and I thought, “Are these critics on drugs?!”. Despite everything I said about Harry Styles, I should not underestimate his fanbase, because my theater had plenty of young women inside. Unfortunately though, this movie is not that great, and by the third act, it is ultimately a case of Harry Styles over substance.

In the end, “Don’t Worry Darling” is quite worrisome. For those of you who have not seen “Booksmart,” I do recommend you give it a watch at some point. It is funny, raunchy, but also heartfelt. Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein play a likable duo. If you want a showcase of what Olivia Wilde could bring to the table as a filmmaker, “Booksmart” is a better case of her talent. I do not have plans to watch “Don’t Worry Darling” a second time. This movie is like a slot machine. Two reels spin and land on the bonus symbol, there’s a big tease for the third reel to land a bonus, only to land on a 7. Florence Pugh gives an Oscar-worthy performance that made me look forward to her future roles as an actress. The film looks pretty and there clever concepts in it, but they were not well executed. For these reasons, in addition to having the one of the most jaw-droppingly bewildering and unsatisfying endings of the year, I am going to give “Don’t Worry Darling” a 4/10.

Although before we move on, the public drama behind “Don’t Worry Darling” and its crew seems to work in the film’s favor, whether Warner Bros. or Olivia Wilde chooses to admit it or not. Because at my screening, I sat next to two older women. When the movie ended, the woman next to me said she came to this movie with someone else because of the drama surrounding it. The drama had her curiosity, and now the movie had her attention. So, for Warner Bros., this could be a happy accident. It is unfortunate that this movie, at least when it first releases, will likely be associated with said drama regardless of its quality. The question is, how will it be viewed years from now? That remains a mystery.

“Don’t Worry Darling” is now playing in theatres everywhere. Tickets are available now.

Thanks for reading this review! If you enjoyed this review, stay tuned because I have more coming! Pretty soon I will be sharing my thoughts on the brand new murder mystery, “See How They Run!” Stay tuned for that, and also stay tuned for the movies I will be reviewing for my official Steven Spielberg Month! This week we will be talking about “Close Encounters of the Third Kind!” If you want to see this and more from Scene Before, follow the blog either with an email or WordPress account! Also, check out the official Facebook page! I want to know, did you see “Don’t Worry Darling?” What did you think about it? Or, did you see “Booksmart?” Tell me your thoughts on that! Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Medieval (2022): A God-Tier Borefest with Gory, But Sloppy Action Scenes

“Medieval” is directed by Petr Jákl (Kajínek, Ghoul) and stars Ben Foster (Warcraft, Hell or High Water), Michael Caine (Interstellar, Batman Begins), Til Schweiger (New Year’s Eve, Inglourious Basterds), William Moseley (The Royals, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe), Matthew Goode (The Good Wife, Chasing Liberty), and Sophie Lowe (Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, Adore). This film is about Jan Zizka, a prominent figure in Czech history who fought for freedom against the Holy Roman Empire and the Teutonic Order.

Similar to my recent review for the expensive Bollywood film “Brahmāstra: Part One – Shiva,” this is a Scene Before first. I did not know this going in, but “Medieval” is the first Czech film I am reviewing.

I was looking forward to “Medieval.” Some of you reading this may have never heard of this film, and I am not surprised. If I remember correctly, the earliest I have heard about “Medieval” may have been a month or two ago when the first trailer dropped. But I have always had an appreciation for large scale epics. “Medieval” is not the largest of its kind, but it certainly packs an immense feel at times. On the surface, if you want to associate a movie with large scale, “Medieval” makes a compelling argument as to why you should, mainly depending on which market you refer to. The film was produced in the Czech Republic for a budget of KČ500 million, which is $20.3 million in U.S. currency. While the U.S. has produced plenty of films this year for more than $20.3 million like “The Gray Man” and “Thor: Love and Thunder,” “Medieval” currently stands as the most expensive Czech film of all time.

While “The Woman King” may be the latest historical epic doing okay at the box office, its success has swept another historical epic under the rug, that being this one. Of course, having mostly positive reviews from critics definitely helps. I have not seen “The Woman King,” therefore I cannot give my thoughts on it, but statistics are statistics. On the other hand, “Medieval” is faring worse with critics with a 36%. Although audiences are clearly liking the film as they have given it a 72%.

Now that I have seen “Medieval,” I am appreciative of the fact that this much effort and money was supposedly put into a film. But it does not make the film good. If anything, “Morbius” has competition for the worst movie of the year.

“Medieval” is a film that tries to come off as dramatic, but only conveys itself as a dreary soap opera-like platter of occasional fight sequences and rivalries. In my history of doing this blog, I have never been so close to falling asleep during a movie. Not even the caffeine in my large Diet Coke could save me. Without research, I would barely be able to tell you anything that happened in this movie. I could tell you some people who are in it. But who does not love Michael Caine? That said, he was not even a highlight in this movie. How bad does your movie have to be for Michael Caine to come off as dull?

As I have mentioned, this film is a large scale epic. Both in terms of atmosphere and budget. Much of the film is shot on location. And there are one or two locations that stood out. I have no desire to travel to those locations after seeing this movie unlike the many New Zealand destinations in “Lord of the Rings,” but nevertheless. The other thing that is supposedly big in a movie like this is the action. When you have a movie where all these people are duking it out, rivaling, trying to defend themselves, you expect the action to be solid. To be honest, I have seen better. The action in “Medieval” barely kept me interested, and there is not much flair to it. Some of the sequences are flimsy and felt surprisingly lifeless as they went on. Although if I could give one notable positive in regard to the action, similar to the one or two neat locations, there are one or two neat deaths. This film is rated R, therefore some gore is expected. I think “Medieval” contained a couple deaths that felt reminiscent of the 2021 “Mortal Kombat” reboot if you were going for a more realistic story and approach.

Is “Medieval” competently filmed? You can say that. The film at least looks presentable. The problem is that I felt my soul was sucked out from scene one. You know how this film is based on historical events? I have read history textbooks with more life and intrigue than what “Medieval” brings to the table. Every time I looked at the screen, it made me tired. It made me drowsy. It made me think I lost my soul. How appropriate, considering the soullessness of the movie. The color grading in “Medieval” reminds me of the 2015 “Point Break” remake. It is washed out and lacks flair. Does it match the dreariness of the film? Sure. Although it also matches the fact that this film lacks flair.

If anything, “Medieval” reminds me of particular history lessons I learned in school, because they are spewed out on a whim, and sometimes delivered in an inconceivably boring manner. Despite having a decent memory, I do not remember much of everything I learned in history class. Similarly, I do not remember much of everything I watched in this movie. Let’s just say the director were to meet with me tomorrow and hand me a pop quiz, I would be begging for a word bank.

“Medieval” is not exactly a happy story. There is war, there is politics, there is gore. I do not mind having an occasional sad or depressing movie every once in a while. But with the case of “Medieval,” its dreariness failed to immerse me into its world. One of my favorite films of last year is Ridley Scott’s “The Last Duel,” because despite it being a somewhat dark and depressing story, it had fascinating characters with decent performances to back everything up. Especially from Jodie Comer. “Medieval” did not have any of that. As far as specific period battle movies go, “Medieval” had the dreariness of “The Last Duel” and the lifelessness of “The Great Wall.” Remember that movie that Matt Damon starred in for some reason?

It is honestly saddening to judge a film this harshly under any circumstance, but when this much money is put into it, it is worse. Because the bigger the budget, the more likely it is that a bad movie is going to lose money. Again, I know Hollywood typically spends more, but bear with me. Speaking of making money, here is a fun fact before we move onto my final verdict…

If you want clarification for how well this film is doing, let me give you some background. I saw this film on Thursday, September 22nd. If I am not mistaken, I was literally at the last screening this movie ever did in Lowell, Massachusetts. The movie only came out on September 9th, less than a month ago. My specific metropolitan area, Boston, did not have any times listed for last week, nor do they have any times listed for this week. You might ask, is “Medieval” playing elsewhere? Like Los Angeles? Well, last week I found out it was playing in one location in Westminster, California. But after Googling the showtimes once again, there’s no screenings there whatsoever for this week. If you think you are going to get a chance to watch this film theatrically in the United States, if you actually are that desperate, then I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

I am sure that an entertaining, thrilling, emotionally investing, and life-changing story on Jan Zizka exists. Unfortunately, it was not in the screenplay for “Medieval.” Perhaps this could have grabbed my attention more as a documentary. Maybe a different crew could have handled this movie better. On the surface, it is intriguing to know that a military commander could have a history like the one presented here. I just wish it were written and directed better.

In the end, “Medieval” is one of the most boring, tiresome, sickeningly forgettable movies of 2022. I have seen a number of bad movies this year. Although if you look at a particular title like “Elvis,” I at least felt emotion while watching that movie. In addition to boredom, I felt frustrated while watching “Elvis.” While “Medieval” is an unspeakable chore to get through, kind of like some history classes, I wish I at least felt one emotion during the movie. I did not have any emotional attachment to the characters, even core ones. At the same time, I never had any specific feeling of happiness, sadness, or as I felt during “Elvis,” frustration. If you liked “Medieval,” I congratulate you for being able to sit through something like this. I could never watch this movie again even if you paid me a ridiculous amount of money. I am going to give “Medieval” a 2/10.

“Medieval” is now playing absolutely nowhere in the United States. If there are showtimes near you, you might as well be joking. However, it is available for preorder on streaming services like Prime Video and Vudu.

Thanks for reading this review! If you like this review, why not check out some of my other ones? Check out my latest review for “Clerks III,” which given the reputation of Kevin Smith as a creator, I am surprised to say is more watchable than “Medieval.” Also, if you want to read a review for something else of large scale, check out my review for “Nope,” directed by Jordan Peele. If you want to see this and more from Scene Before, follow the blog either with an email or WordPress account! Also, check out the official Facebook page! I want to know, did you see “Medieval?” What did you think about it? Or, for those of you who have seen movies from the Czech Republic, which ones do you recommend? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!