The Social Network (2010) Review

I really wasn’t interested in watching this so I may not be in the right mindset or the right person to write this review. I’m not really on Facebook, either. I made a minor stab at a Crash! Facebook page, but… Anyway, I watched the film because it’s one of the biggies in the lackluster movie year of 2010… And because David Fincher is a great director that seems to be getting better.

It’s ironic that a movie called The Social Network is full of so many obnoxious antisocial people. There are a few characters/people in the film that are engaging enough to invest interest in, but they certainly aren’t the main protagonist Mark Zuckerberg (the CHARACTER of Mark Zuckerberg, leastways), the creator/co-creator of Facebook. Or maybe he just wrote the code using someone else’s idea. I don’t know. Director Fincher was a stickler for at least attempting to adhere to the facts in Zodiac, so I expect he did hs best here also since he was portraying a allegedly bratty billionaire in a harshly negative light.  Jesse Eisenberg plays the character adequately. I only say that because although he was spot on for the role; he plays the same character with virtually the same delivery in every movie I’ve seen him in.

This IS the story of Mark Zuckerberg (the CHARACTER), the creation of Facebook (or ‘TheFacebook’) and the subsequent lawsuit nastiness.  It begins with Zuckerberg being nasty to his girlfriend and losing said girlfriend played by Rooney Mara (who must have graduated from the Laura Linney School of Acting. Take that however you want to). Mark is enlisted by three fellow Harvard students (Divya Mirenda and the Winklevoss twins) to create a Facebook-like website that would be exclusive to Harvard students, but quickly decides that he can take that idea and run with it.

The Winklevoss twins are played by Armie Hammer (and Josh Pence) and he (they) provides a lot of unquestionably entertainingly funny moments. Usually in films about nerds the jocks are the enemy. The bad guys. The tormentors. But here, they are much more the victims (albeit victims that received 65 million dollars for their victimhood).

Hammer is maybe even better than Nic Cage was in the film ‘Adaptation’ in the ability to get across which twin is onscreen by his behavior and mannerisms. He’s the best character(s) in the film. The CGI is seamless also. Fincher was a graphics guy at the Lucas Ranch before he started directing and it’s clear he knows how to design shots and put them together.

Zuckerberg stalls Mirenda and the Winklevoss twins while he creates the computer code for ‘TheFacebook’ website. He gets money that he needs from his one friend Eduardo. Andrew Garfield affably plays Eduardo and is one of the more sympathetic character in the film. He is the one that ‘fronts’ the money to pay for the servers and the work…. Hey! Am I boring you? Just checking. I’ve managed to get this far and I care nothing about Facebook so at least you can bear with my review. I have friends and relatives that are on TheFacebook ALL the time, but I’ve never had any interest, so there was a reluctance for me to enjoy even through Fincher’s camera lens.

And I don’t want to give any more of the plot away. See it yourself and see what you think. Fincher is agreat director as I said and he makes the scenes as interesting as they can possibly be, especially given that there’s a lot of scenes involving lawyers and lawsuits. there are plenty of scantily clad women in the film also. That wasn’t so bad, but it did seem a little over-sexed than actual reality.

Fincher explained that on the commentary as “well, it’s CLOSE to reality (paraphrasing)”. Whatever. Fincher films hot tail and wild parties as well as he shoots everything else in those muted greens and browns that he seems to shoot all of his films in now.

Aaron Sorkin’s script (an adaptation of “The Accidental Billionaires” by Ben Mezrich) has many witty moments, but that is contrasted a few times where he is SO obvious with what he’s saying through one of the characters, that it’s like he’s throwing a bucket of cold water on the viewer. It’s that subtle. At times, some of the dialogue appeared to exist simultaneously in some other film. There were sequences that were a little too cute to fit the tone of this type of bio-pic/drama. It is intelligently written for 95% of the movie, though.

The film is essentially about someone with one friend that is such a jerk he ends up with none, but a lot of money. Listening to Fincher, Zuckerberg is someone to be admired. If that’s the intent of the story as he actually (paraphrasing) says on the film, then the movie is a failure. The film, for me, is predictable (even without knowing the real-life events), and there’s nothing AT ALL admirable about the lead character other than he invented/co-invented/whatever something and made a lot of money. The film is one of those ‘For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?’ stories that is recognizable as such right from the beginning. Sort of. The main character is never portrayed as having any ounce of morale fibre in the first place which makes his character as uninteresting as the Facebook website itself. However, the overall story of The Social Network did manage to hold my interest most of the time. It does merit a viewing.

4 0f 5 whatevers.

Side Note: There was also a highlight (for me, anyhow) in the fact that Alex Reznick appears in the film as Prince Albert’s Aide. Reznick made an appearance in the local film (National Lampoon’s) Beach Party At The Threshold of Hell just 4 years ago. Kevin Wheatley made an appearance in the indie film ‘The New Year’ also, so some of those guys are actually making headway in Hollywood it seems. Good for them.

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