In totally unshocking news, forthcoming content on Apple TV+ has received bad reviews. This time it’s feature film The Banker under the spotlight.
The Banker is ‘Not Very Powerful’ And ‘Bloodless’
The Wrap was, it’s fair to say, not that keen on the film starring Samuel L. Jackson, Nia Long, Anthony Mackie, and Nicholas Hoult. It described it as “all very competent, but competence isn’t very powerful.”
Unfortunately, “The Banker” is the kind of biopic that takes serious issues of race and tries to make them palatable, whether or not it feels genuine. The film relies on tried-and-true, formulaic storytelling beats like training montages, impassioned speeches and, for extended and frustrating periods, focusing on the white guy Garrett and Morris used as their representative in meetings with racist bigwigs.
Variety was none more impressed.
Visually, it’s got a picturesque but antiseptic made-for-streaming quality, and as drama it’s like a deep-dive magazine article in movie form. You may wish that you were reading about these events in The New Yorker, because the movie is so choked with neutral detail that it’s a little bloodless. It lacks fire.
Get Off my Lawn
Both publications criticized The Banker, which is based on true events, for shifting to focus too much on the white character, when in fact the film should primarily tell the African-Americans’ stories. That may well be a fair criticism – it would hardly be the first time such a thing has happened in a film. What I find a little tiresome though is some of the other complaints. I appreciate that I have not yet had an opportunity to see the film. I’m sure there are some issues with it that reviewers should raise. However, there is once again a “get of my lawn” quality to it all. A sense that those in film and TV do not want a tech firm straying into their territory.
The same thing happens every time Apple prepares to release something. For some content, the bad reviews were totally justified. But for other things, it felt like it was criticism just for the sake of it. I suppose we should just be grateful that the reviews of The Banker are still available to read!