Here, he’s Joe, a private eye who can’t escape traumatic memories from his childhood, which still haunt him to this day. However, he still feels indebted to his sick mother, who he cares for on a daily basis. Elsewhere in his life, he’s tasked with finding Nina (Ekaterina Samsonov), the young daughter of Senator Albert Votto (Alex Manette), who has been kidnapped by some very bad guys. Since Joe is a violent man, who strikes when you least expect it, he’s definitely NOT a man to cross. In fact, when it comes to showing smoe of what he dishes out, this is one of those films which makes you really question whether or not it’s actually a 15-certificate… or is that just me getting old – a bit of both, perhaps.
There’s so many weird things in this film, most of which come together and give a reason to exist, as well as one or two things which don’t, but you still appreciate their inclusion if you enjoy the sort of film where a ton of weird stuff happens, sometimes without explanation.
But then, this is a Lynne Ramsay film, like We Need To Talk About Kevin, so you expect it to be weird as hell, such as the scene where you’ll come across Charlene’s “I’ve Been To Paradise But I’ve Never Been To Me” – oh, my!
However, even though it’s based on a novel, at the point where it ends, it feels like it’s still got a third act left to run, especially since the end credits begin at the 81-minute mark.
As an aside, Larry Canady provides the enigmatic theme song, Wake Me, and he also pops up in the film as a cab driver.
The film is presented in the theatrical 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio and in 1080p high definition and for a Blu-ray of a modern film, you’d be surprised if the picture wasn’t spot-on, and this delivers an image which does just as great justice to the man dark scenes as it does to the fewer number of bright ones.
The sound is in 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, and it’s mostly a dialogue piece, but with the inclusion of the haunting score, mostly featuring the main theme, mentioned above.
The menu features a short piece of the main theme, set to a backdrop of the cover artwork and some fiery ember effects on top. There are a typical 12 chapters, plus subtitles in English.
Given how much trouble they went to with the menu, you’d think they’d go to town on the extras, but no.
The extras are… almost non-existent. There’s an audio descriptive track for anyone who’s into such a thing, and while the other extra is listed as You Were Never Really Here: From Book To Film, this sounds such a grand thing, but… it lasts a whole 62 seconds. Yes, you read right. In fact, it takes longer to type out the name of the extra than it does to watch it, and it’s mostly just soundbites form Ms Ramsay and others, with nothing to get your teeth into. What a disappointment.
Also available is the Soundtrack CD
Running time: 90 minutes
Released: July 2nd 2018
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH
Widescreen: 2.35:1 (ARRIRAW)
Disc Format: BD50
Director: Lynne Ramsay
Producers: Rosa Attab, Pascal Caucheteux, Rebecca O’Brien, Lynne Ramsay and James Wilson
Screenplay: Lynne Ramsay (based on the novel by Jonathan Ames)
Music: Jonny Greenwood
Joe: Joaquin Phoenix
Nina Votto: Ekaterina Samsonov
Senator Albert Votto: Alex Manette
Young Joe: Dante Pereira-Olson
Cincinatti Cab Driver: Larry Canady
Moises: Vinicius Damasceno
Moises’s Friend: Neo Randall
Joe’s Mother: Judith Roberts
Angel: Frank Pando
John McCleary: John Doman
Dying Gunman: Scott Price
Governor Williams: Alessandro Nivola
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.