Scott Hardie: “It ruled.”
I agree with the film’s supporters that by plotting backwards, Noé skips the traditional payoff, freeing the film to focus on the larger themes of misanthropy and destiny. But I still don’t believe the violence is adequately justified: As profoundly sad as they are, the later scenes do not fully redeem the earlier depravity. Say what you want about Noé belonging to this place in French cinematic history, this film strikes me as quickly and poorly executed, trash that could have been art with proper care. The endless meandering conversations and camerawork, and the three-page script (!), are its downfall.