Six major plot lines, taking place over 500 years, featuring the same actors playing multiple roles: That's what you get with 'Cloud Atlas.'
All of the stories are crosscut together, jumping back and forth across different time periods and locations ranging from a 19th-century South Pacific sea voyage to the distant post-apocalyptic future where humanity lives on the brink of extinction. The cast includes Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Sturgess, Susan Sarandon, Hugo Weaving and Hugh Grant. They do their best to tell the secrets of the universe and the human heart while leaving you, well, confused.
Based on the novel by David Mitchell, 'Cloud Atlas' is simply too long and too scatterbrained. The central message is that we are all connected from womb to tomb and our lives are not our own. It's a mixture of comedy, fantasy, crime thriller and hard core sci-fi. I respect the effort but honestly, it's like trying to read the instructions to a new board game in another language. I had a hard enough time trying to figure out who the stars were behind their makeup, wigs, and other prosthetics.
The Flick-o-meter gives Cloud Atlas a three out of five. I loved the concept but this film was really all over the place. This story is better off as a book—and when a film critic like myself says that, you know there are problems.
What did you think of the book version of 'Cloud Atlas'? Will you see the film? Tell us in the comments.