Review: The Current War – Director’s Cut


Title: The Current War: Director’s Cut
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Director: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
Starring: Michael Shannon, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland
Runtime: 1 hr 42 mins

What It Is: The race is on. When Thomas Alva Edison (Cumberbatch) comes up with a direct current (DC) lightbulb, one he hopes will light up the world, he is challenged by airbrake titan George Westinghouse (Shannon). Westinghouse’s current is an alternating current (AC) a different current from Edison’s. Now, these two will battle to get their current to be used at the World’s Fair in Chicago. A pivotal moment in the industrial revolution.

What We Think: Michael Shannon and Benedict Cumberbatch working together is a stellar idea. One not exactly put together all that well. Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s previous cinematic credit was the wonderful Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. That, I feel, suits his talents far more than a film like this does. I can say that if this is the Gomez-Rejon version of this story I don’t know. What I want to know is what the original cut looked like. This film is KIND of a mess. It’s well-acted but so much of what’s going on around it is a forest fire of mediocrity.

Our Grade: C+, So much potential completely ruined. A messy combination of a blasé script with only a serviceable direction. Led by two REALLY charismatic performances this is a film that much like The Upside had to survive a hellacious existence just to get this far. I commend Gomez-Rejon for recutting the film and 101 Films for putting this out. One thing I can say if that the film looked pretty good. Chung-hoon Chung deserves some credit for this one. The film is a so-so recommendation that I wouldn’t feel bad recommending. That said I’m not saying you should go out and just see this without hesitation. Definitely check out the trailer above and if you’re interested in doing so…go see it.

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