Tag Archives: Demolition

Demolition

6 Apr

Davis Mitchell (Jake Gyllenhaal) pays a demolition crew to let him join in on the destruction

Courtesy of Fox Searchlight

Davis Mitchell (Jake Gyllenhaal) pays a demolition crew to let him join in on the destruction


Film-going audiences love a good story about a person whose life has gone askew, who has taken a beating, and who begins the painful yet cathartic process of clawing one’s way back to the top. The tried-and-true trope has appeared in wildly diverse cinematic incarnations over years. There are obligatory sports stories (Rocky, The Natural), but this standard plot is also clearly imbued in Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life and the bum-beats-bond trader comedy Trading Places. Enter Jake Gyllenhaal’s latest, Demolition.

Like Life‘s George Bailey, Davis Mitchell (Gyllenhaal) has had his challenges. He’s been up and down so many times it’s hard to keep track of where he’s been and where he’s going. Demolitionbegins with Davis and his wife Julia (Heather Lind) in the middle of a heated conversation as they drive down the avenue. What can we tell? They’re an attractive pair, she’s fiery, and they’ve got a plush luxury ride. And then just like that, boom, out of nowhere another car rips through the passenger side and she’s gone.

In the fractured aftermath we learn that Davis came from the wrong side of the tracks, but married well in Julia; her father (a somber Chris Cooper) runs a successful investment firm and gives his son-in-law a nepotistic roost that he helms well. For all the money and success however, Davis is unanchored, unhappy, and numb. Inside he’s quickly reaching the boiling point. Clearly, he’s a man in need of a therapist. Continue reading