In his review for indieWIRE, Eric Hynes calls Lukas Moodysson’s latest, “Mammoth,” a “career killer” and, while his may be among the most damning reviews of the film, which opens in the US today, it’s getting very little love from critics on the whole.
“Moodysson hasn’t exactly descended to ‘Babel’-level pabulum with ‘Mammoth, his first foray into English; these characters are too fascinatingly thorny, and he still has a supple way with a pulse-throbbing dance tune, notes Time Out New York’s Joshua Rothkopf. “But the plot strands are too neatly tied and it’s way beneath his level. He’s only 40 years old. Expect a rebound.”
The New York Times’ Manohla Dargis: “In ‘Mammoth,’ when a rich child eats her lunch in New York, a poor boy in the Philippines cries. And so it goes, as privilege begets exploitation with grimly deterministic logic and pages and pages of bad dialogue.”
The A.V. Club’s Noel Murray laments the dive that Moodysson’s career has taken: “‘Mammoth”s anti-globalization, everything’s-connected premise feels rehashed from a dozen other indie films, only Moodysson anchors it with the heart-sinking hopelessness that’s been his stock in trade since ‘Lilya.’ The clear-eyed, loveable humanist who breezed in from Sweden a decade ago appears to be gone for good.”
“English, Tagalog, and Thai are spoken in Swedish writer-director Lukas Moodysson’s ‘Mammoth,’ but he communicates only in the idiom of ‘Crash’ and ‘Babel’: the Esperanto of feel-bad humanism,” writes Melissa Anderson in the Village Voice. “Grossly exaggerating his characters’ either/or constructions, Moodysson forgoes any real ideas about the world’s vast inequities, content to pummel his audience with portentous global guilt-tripping.”
Watch the trailer for “Mammoth” on YouTube.