Sunrise (2024)

Sunrise Review

sunrise 2024

The sometimes promising “Sunrise” is killed by generic dialogue and lack of character depth. The best parts of the movie are those with a grit that recalls “Near Dark,” one of the greatest vampire flicks ever made, but it doesn’t do that nearly enough. Once again, we’re in a dark corner of the world where hate is allowed to grow and not all the monsters are supernatural. The most interesting parts of “Sunrise” play with that second idea, arguing that racism and violence are scarier than bloodsuckers, but all too often it feels like the story of a MAGA monster and the immigrant family onto which a vampire story was unconvincingly grafted whom he brutalizes. It wants to tug at different threads about outsiders being pushed out of somewhere that used to embrace them, but it’s blunt when it should be subtle and vague when it could stand to clarify some things. This is an incredibly self-serious dirge of a movie with a great Guy Pearce performance wasted on him or anyone else underneath.

Pearce is so consistently strong in any genre, and he really lets us know he’s there as Reynolds, who we meet through a string of racial slurs. In his best scene, he talks about how men used to work the land and fight for their country. There’s this type of miserable villain Pearce does better than almost anyone else a woe is me type who blames everyone else for his problems and takes anything he thinks some higher power has given him as a white male by force and he’s not just racist or violent here, Reynolds is kind of pathetic at times too, in ways other actors might have overlooked or been afraid to acknowledge. He wants to “make America great again,” yes because this one couldn’t care less about men like him.

But men like him feel threatened by an immigrant family named Loi moving into their town, so naturally the first scene of “Sunrise” centers around this conflict between Reynolds’ family and the Lois as he spews hatred at the patriarch (Chike Chan). Edward, one of the Loi’s sons (William Gao), is bullied in school, and his mother Yan (Crystal Yu) does everything she can just to keep them alive. They end up becoming caretakers for cinema’s most brooding stranger since Snape named Fallon (Alex Pettyfer), who turns out to be a creature of the night with an old grudge against Reynolds. Pettyfer mopes his way through “Sunrise” with an underwritten character who mostly consists of ominous stares off into the distance and too-long moments of silence supposed to build tension but really just calling attention to themselves.

I was jerked back in my seat when I realized that “Sunrise” was almost over. This movie has one solid performance but is otherwise a complete loss; it never comes together thematically or narratively (and it doesn’t help that the whole thing looks way too good overly lit and without any of the tactile depth necessary for this genre flick to work). There are so many half-formed ideas here, so much material that feels like it was taken from a short script and stretched into feature length. This movie literally vamps until the closing credits roll.

Watch Sunrise For Free On Gomovies.

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