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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Southern slugfest
May 23, 2024
Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
A fighter jet squadron flies over during the National Anthem before Texas A&M’s game against Arkansas at Olsen Field on Saturday, May 18, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Bryan-College Station Regional participants announced
Ian Curtis, Sports Writer • May 27, 2024

For the second time in three seasons, No. 3 national seed Texas A&M baseball will host the Bryan-College Station Regional, where it’ll...

Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Criticism: ‘Men’ review

Photo by Via IMDb

Art critic Austin Nguyen reviews “Men,” a 2022 horror drama.

Rating: 1.5 / 5 stars
“Men,” released on May 20, is already out of theaters, but this thinly-veiled tale of toxic masculinity will soon be released on streaming platforms. Though the review might seem overdue, “Men” is more of an art experience than a film.
Mild Spoilers
Light on plot, “Men” follows Harper, a woman grieving her husband’s death, as she is harassed by all the men in a stereotypical rural English town she is vacationing in.  The townsfolk’s antics include sneaking in the nude behind Zoom calls, gaslighting our Harper and leisurely stalking through the woods. None of these initial scenes were portrayed in an effectively disturbing or malicious way — most were actually comedic and had the scarcely attended theater laughing. Despite many ingredients that often fail to mesh well together, the first two-thirds were entertaining enough to keep me invested, and I was hopeful for a good ending for “Men” to fully redeem itself.
The gimmick of one actor playing a number of major characters, once a staple of B-grade comedies like “Norbit” and “Jack & Jill,” has made its way into horror. Rory Kinnear plays the role of nearly every man in the film, while Jessie Buckley is the grieving protagonist who is never quite believable, always reacting the same no matter how disturbing the event is in front of her. 
Instead of logically following the events in the first two-thirds of the movie, “Men” falls apart at the end, magnifying the issues throughout the film. It is precisely what an A24 hater would imagine the production company’s releases to be: weird, slow and pretentious. Certain scenes, especially the ending, look more art museum than silver screen. Many on-the-nose metaphorical shots break up scenes of suspense or interest, while the choppy editing and poor computer-generated imagery kept taking me out of the actual storyline. I’m a fan of “elevated horror,” but “Men” is something else entirely. Though this might sound appealing to some, it is unenjoyable as a cinematic narrative, so viewers should expect a pretentious mess before going into it.
Heavy Spoilers
After a set-up with great potential, the ending heads toward a satisfying “last stand” but drops the ball to showcase a disgusting, yet tediously repetitive, visualization of men giving birth — literally passing down toxic traits through generations.  
Despite creating intelligent movies across several genres, like “Ex Machina”, “Annihilation,” and “28 Days Later,” writer-director Alex Garland seems to inexplicably believe the audience is too stupid to understand the painfully obvious metaphors he runs into the ground throughout the film and force-feeds viewers once again with the ending. This is a great disservice to the audience, the storyline and the incredibly basic progressive message he was trying to convey.
A more subtle and subversive story about current issues, or at least a solid ending, could have made this deeply flawed film much more entertaining. “Men” tries too hard and ultimately fails as a result.
Final thoughts: A passably entertaining but scare-less start is further undone by a nonsensical, heavy-handed and unearned disgusting ending.
Austin Nguyen is a business major and writer for The Battalion.

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