Revisiting Chinatown. (That’s Chinatown, not Chinatown.)

After nearly half a century, I finally decided to rewatch Chinatown, which I only dimly recalled. I remembered that it had been one of my favorite movies at the time. Would it hold up after so many decades?

The answer is a definite no (IMHO, of course).

Maybe it’s just me. I recognize that my tastes have changed in the intervening five decades. I also recognize that many people consider Chinatown to be one of the greatest movies of all time. But it just didn’t do much for me this time around.

As for Jack Nicholson, well, he has always irritated me more than he has impressed me. Both in The Shining and in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest he mostly made me shudder. His frequent smirking in Chinatown—probably also found in the other two films, though I don’t remember—was a distraction, regardless of whether it was a characterization or a mannerism. Is it the actor or the character who is smirking? I don’t know.

I also found the story itself unsettling. But maybe it’s just me.

Categories: Movies & (occasionally) TV