Michael B. Jordan is on fire.
Fahrenheit 451 is an HBO film based in a future with seemingly a carefree philosophy but this comes at a cost of knowledge. This future has a fire department that instead of putting out fires they burn books, videos, music and pretty much anything that would lead to free thinking. This film has a ‘ministry’ that dictates what people are entitled to know. The ministry deems that the Bible, Moby Dick and another book that I already forgot. In typical dictatorship style, they edit these books even.
There is also a newer version of the internet called the nine. Which usually is used by the ministry to stream the fire departments burning of contraband and other forms of misinformation. Another thing done by the ministry is that they have altered history and feed the general populace with that information. For example Ben Franklin in this movie instead of creating the first fire department to put out fires he started it to burn things.
This movie stars Michael Shannon (Superman: Man of Steel, The Iceman, Shape of Water) Michael B. Jordan (Creed, Black Panther, Fantastic Four) and Sofia Boutella (Kingsman, Star Trek and The Mummy). All the main actors in this film do a great job. Michael B Jordan is a great actor but this film probably isn’t his best outing yet and despite the fact he had the most important role in the film he played it very basic and did not do a great job. Which is surprising considering he is such a dynamic actor. I feel as though he had a few decent moments in this film but other than that it was a kind of straightforward performance. Michael Shannon probably gave the best performance in this movie and gave a typical Michael Shannon performance. I do feel bad for Michael Shannon as I feel he is always playing a psychopath in every movie. I suppose it is not a bad way to be typecast. Sofia Boutella did a good job as a seller of contraband.
The plot of the film is interesting and visually it is a good looking film. I just felt that it could have been executed better. Towards the end of the film, you are left feeling like the film fell a bit flat. If you watch the films you will probably be able to tell all the scenes that could have been really emotional and hold more weight with the viewer but doesn’t. I think the filmmakers probably thought it would be more meaningful if the characters don’t say anything and just let the moment speak for itself and in some ways that was a misstep. The worst part about that is that this film is very genuinely thought-provoking. They mentioned that there was a second civil war in the US as these contraband items lead to such differencing of opinions lead to the second civil war. Which then resulted in the ministry and the new fire departments. That sounds extremely close to how the world is now and helps to ground this film in a believable reality.
I find this film a hard one to recommend. It does start off really strong and with decent performances. It is just a shame that the plot of this film is so good but the delivery of this plot fails towards the end. I do not think the general moviegoer will be disappointing in this film. I just don’t think it will leave a lasting impression. If anything this film will start making you think about the world and its current state and how it could lead to this very scary future. The film feels very much like those depressing 70’s future movies. Take from that what you will.