Riddle me this: What is a conspiracy movie without a conspiracy? Bland? Lame? Half a movie? To describe this movie as a joke to a geometry major I would say that THE CIRCLE is only the radius compared to its diameter of an idea. The movie feels like only one act to what should be a three act movie, and that one act goes absolutely no where when the audience expects any film tale is supposed to go full circle. It’s a shame because the talent and filmmakers involved should’ve filled that entertaining hole in any and all movie goers heart, but instead fills it with absolute boredom.
The marketers for this film are smart. They knew if they were marketing this film as it truly should have been, no one would’ve been keen to see it. Instead, they make it look like one huge big conspiracy movie where Hermoine Granger is haunted by and infiltrates Slytherin to try and bring that entire part of the school crumbling down. Sounds like a cool new Harry Potter film right? But instead imagine a Harry Potter film where all you did was fucking watch Hermoine go to her classes, read from her books, and only a little disturbance happens when one of her classmates sneezes too loud during studying. That’s what The Circle is.
The marketing team made this film look like a conspiracy is happening toward Emma Watson’s Mia character from the company that she works for, and Tom Hanks being some big corporate head honcho Steve Job’s type person that is part of the evil plan. They did this by putting basically all the “conspiracy” scenes in the trailer. But what they won’t tell you is that those scenes of Emma climbing up and down a latter is to just to follow John Boyega knowingly to see where new servers for the company will eventually be set up. The scenes of Tom Hanks asking Watson a leering question is actually them just chatting openly with no bad intentions involved. The scene of her screaming is not what you think either.
There is no conspiracy in this movie. The entire movie is Emma Watson’s day to day operations of her job and then at one point, when she goes kayaking late at night and almost drowns, The Circle’s cameras save her, and she then moves up in the company fast as a “needs The Circle surveillance system poster child.” Then instead of bringing up a cool new conspiracy, you instead see what she does with her new responsibilities, with a couple of hiccups involving her close friends and family and finally realizing that no privacy is bad. That’s it. That’s all the movie is. And it feels like the movie ends mid movie too. And all throughout the movie just when you think the movie is going to introduce a conspiracy, like why a senator suddenly gets fired and a new one replaces them, they write it off really quickly with one line of dialogue.
In fact, the only really great part of this movie was laughing furiously when Emma Watson decides to completely broadcast her entire life to the world using The Circle’s system. When she does this you see a bunch of user comments flash on the screen commenting on her life and what she is doing currently. The funny thing is, THERE IS NO FUCKING WAY ANY OF THEM ARE REALISTIC TO WHAT PEOPLE HOW PEOPLE IN LIFE WOULD COMMENT. When she is getting ready for bed there are comments like “nice sheets” or “don’t forget to brush your teeth for one full minute” when you know in real life there would be comments like “Let me see dem titties!” or “Please masterbate for me Mia!” There are a couple of really funny comments like, “I like to fart in bed,” “I am about to eat year old cheese,” and my favorite, “The people at The Circle probably have no children,” but the rest is just laughably bad. Completely unrealistic to what would happen if somebody really did that in real life.
The only fun part of the movie was trying to read all the comments, in fact, if I were ever to revisit this film, I would constantly pause the movie to try and read all of them. The movie isn’t all bad. The acting is really good from Watson and Hanks, even though Watson looks too smart to ever work for a billing company. And Hanks, delivers inspiring tech speeches with perfect precision. But when has Hanks actually sucked in a shitty movie? It’s rare. And John Boyega, the great John Boyega who plays Finn in the new Star Wars films, is completely wasted here, in the fact that he only has two scenes and then is photoshopped into a crowd not once, but TWICE!!! Karen Gillan is honestly the best actress in this thing and the only one that kind of has a full character arc, and I can’t take Patton Oswalt in a role like he has in this seriously. I will give a shout out though to Bill Paxton who plays Mia’s dad with MS. I’m really going to miss him and even though he is in this film very little, he is great in his role and his presence is big enough to be sad by the fact that he won’t be making movies anymore.
But, like I said, the film doesn’t go full circle. It goes nowhere. Absolutely nowhere. What could’ve been a fantastic conspiracy film about technology, privacy, etc. is an hour and 50 minute film about a girl’s work day and how at the end she really doesn’t change anything but get revenge on a couple of people. It has a couple of really intriguing ideas on where technology and privacy could take us but doesn’t explore its full effect. If you want a half way decent conspiracy film you thought you would get with this, just go rent AntiTurst, which is a much better film, even though cheesy in it’s own right. If you are on the way to the theater to see this right now, might I suggest making a 180 and go back home to do something better with your life.