When you begin Gille Klabin's The Wave you are swept away in a deep hallucinogenic state ahead of any character’s poor choices. Klabin's direction is stylish, fast paced, and never allows you to leave the confused mindset that our lead is caught up in the entire way through.
As Klabin's first theatrical debut in his directing career, it would be unforgivable of me not to give the director some much needed praise. His unique, incredibly filtered creative direction never leaves us with a dull moment. Zooming us from scene to scene with such force that we have no choice but to be gleefully nauseated by the pursuit of getting us as "high" as our lead appears to be.
Have you ever thought you were here for a higher purpose? Carl W. Lucas's script for The Wave pushes the theory that when it's your time, it's your time (while being delirious on unknown drugs). Narratively speaking, The Wave is all over the place, yet because of its rapid pace, you can't help but feel it assists the anxiety driven, drug induced journey of our main character. The plot is far out there, and though it has the desire to appear simplistic, it actually took days before the complete narrative pieced itself together for me. However when it did come together, the story was worth the watch just for the fascinating conclusion alone.
ACTING | CHARACTERS | DIALOGUE:
The Wave is led by Frank (Justin Long), an eager lawyer who is at the height of his career, having just cracked a high profile case and looking forward to a promotion on the horizon. Frank decides to go out on the town to celebrate with his work buddy, Jeff (Donald Faison), only to wake up the next morning abandoned and drugged out of his mind. Now Frank must figure out what happened to him the night before as well as how to come down. Long delivers an electrifying performance - his best since TUSK. The chemistry between Long and his on screen buddy Faison is decent but doesn't spark any intense vibes of friendship. Along the way to the end credits we are introduced to an egotistical boss, a mysterious party girl, a cross spouse, a psychotic drug dealer, and another peculiar drug peddler that kicks off the night.
VISUAL EFFECTS | MAKEUP | DESIGN:
MUSIC | SCORE | SOUND DESIGN:
While I personally found the score to elevate the film's overall tone and emotion being sought after in each scene, there is no one to properly thank as composer for their time. So as a whole, the sound department on this production provided an absolutely tremendous effort: Carlos Garcia, Lawrence He, Eric Offin, Cameron Sloan, and Darrin Smith. Energetic, exhilarating, and downright entertaining, it's exactly what you want from a movie like this in order to keep you completely captivated the entire time.
Usually the focus on the cinematography would be in the "direction" section of the review, however cinematographer Aaron Grasso is so visually dazzling with his choices that they needed to be mentioned specifically here. Fans of The Lonely Island's The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience should be familiar with Grasso's unique visual work when it comes to his cinematography, and similar to Bash Brothers, The Wave is flooded with stunning shots, wildly outrageous scenery, and a one of a kind experience. Moving away from the cinematography, it's worth noting that the filter heavy art style that fuels the drug trip is an aspect of the film we can't quite run away from during the entirety of the runtime, and while that sounds negative, believe me it is not.
Gille Klabin's The Wave is a psychedelic trip of epic proportions. Be prepared to go on a journey that may take a day or two to fully ignite, but once it finally does, you will be ecstatic to sit back down with the film for another voyage into bizarre madness.