In stripping away (or not building upon) the character beats and the hanging existential dread, they produced a lean, mean little thriller, one that satisfies in the moment but ultimately builds to nothing.
It’s a pure survival story with an excellent cast and a well-measured sense of doom.
I Care A Lot plays a tough game. It’s not an unfamiliar one, not by a long shot, but that doesn’t make it easy to stomach. A tale of greed and capitalism that can’t even be called allegory since it speaks of its themes directly, it’s a story of terrible people doing terrible things, and you’re not supposed to feel good about any of it.
No amount of slick story beats and scene chewing from Washington, Malek, and Leto can save such a thoughtlessly outdated premise.
The film falls into stale traps, ones so basic and obvious that it’s almost maddening to see them regurgitated for yet another rote thriller. Women in peril? Check. Completely gratuitous violence? Check. Female characters with almost every feminine quality drained from them? Big check.