18 | 2h 18min | Crime, Drama, Thriller | 16 September 2020 (UK)
An adaptation of the 2011 novel from author Donald Ray Pollock. The Devil of All Time attempts to bring this novel to life with a star studded cast but this still isn't quite enough to save it from the slow depressing slog that you experience throughout.
With a whole host of differing violent characters, all committing a variety of sins, channelling their inner demons. You'd think this would be an enthralling ride, but this wasn't the case. Granted the film had its moments where it would ramp up the aggression and it certainly was interesting to see how this all pieced together, but it seemed to get stuck constantly with dull fillers.
The problems came from this films constant ability to drag you into this depressed state, sucking all life out of you. There never seemed to be a light, a constant dark cloud surrounds this film. Even when there was a moment of good, the light fades away into the darkness almost immediately.
You get to spend a certain amount of time with many of these characters, but the development was almost non existent. Are these the type of characters you'd want to know more about, probably not, you're never going to relate to them (Well I hope you wouldn't) but they require that depth to keep your interest. Now it's not all bad, each new character is eased in well, never feeling overcrowded, some of which are definitely more interesting than others.
One standout, the main focus of the beginning, was Bill Skarsgård. This performance was an ever changing character during his short time on screen. Intense, aggression and desperation all play a part in this characters story, and you feel every bit of that emotion.
We would be unable to avoid talking about Tom Holland here. Best known for his role as "Spiderman", this showed the range this young man possesses. The complexity of this character is there for all to see, portrayed perfectly here by Holland.
You cannot deny that this film was well made. Structurally, it mostly worked. Using a narrator, who happens to be the author, helped keep in check what was going on between each character. It was certainly a film of two halves. The first half of the film went on far too long, that amount of set up wasn't quite needed. Then the second half had it's moments, but also naturally showed you how this was all connected.
The Devil All the Time had the foundations to thrive on, but with its constant depressive nature unfortunately this didn't quite hit the mark. With probably what was 30 minutes too much run time, it had it's moments that thrilled but not even this outstanding cast could lift this out of its depressed state to the next level.
By Elliot Lines - Lead Editor