There was a while in which I thought German filmmaker Tom Tykwer could do no wrong. Following his breakout here in 1999 with “Run Lola Run,” I loved everything of his, including (especially) the extremely under-appreciated “Perfume: The Story of a Murderer.” Then he did the Clive Owen action thriller “The International,” which outside of the precisely constructed Guggenheim shootout was decidedly too bland. I don’t mean visually so much as narratively. It was well directed, but of course he didn’t write the screenplay and so it lacked his trademark injection of happenstance at every corner. If you too like that element of Tykwer’s movies, you’ll appreciate his dry (yet often wet) screwball comedy “3,” which opens in the U.S. this month and now has a new trailer aimed at American audiences.
Be forewarned that this spot gives the entire story away from beginning to end, something we’re accustomed to today from Hollywood but not typically foreign films. The thing is, while it’s often a problem for those American movies, here knowing the whole plot needn’t be of concern. For one reason, and the only necessary excuse, while Tykwer’s twisty stories are of great appeal to his fans, he’s hardly about where his films go. It’s the journey that matters. And as a reflexive statement spoken early in “3” makes clear, the important thing is to concentrate on “what’s before our eyes.” As might be expected from a master of ADD cinema such as Tykwer, there’s a lot going on onscreen much of the time, too. Split screens, namely, filled with overlapping dialogue (not all of it subtitled). But it’s an enjoyable game, watching a film like “3.”
All that said, you might only want to watch the trailer if you don’t want to go in completely cold. Not that the predictable coincidences will be any less expected. Check it out after the jump.
I should note that as much as I enjoyed “3,” I admit it is very minor Tykwer. Yet now that he’s heading back into Hollywood territory for “Cloud Atlas,” a grand-scale collaboration with the Wachowskis, I’m even more satisfied with this light film, which is like a bit of a rest before the blockbusting. The intertwining stories and complex coincidences of David Mitchell’s novel sound appropriate for Tykwer at least, and he is co-writing the screenplay. As a remained fan, I hope it all works out.
“3” hits NYC and LA on September 19 with other cities to follow.