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Film Review - Challengers


Director Luca Guadagnino is preoccupied with making sensual, violently charged features, recently on display in 2022’s “Bones and All,” where he sought to create screen poetry with a wild world of young love and cannibalism. There’s a change of setting for “Challengers,” but the material (scripted by Justin Kuritzkes) largely remains with ravenous characters out to devour and destroy one another, doing so in the realm of tennis players and their vicious insecurities. The endeavor is all flesh and fears, and Guadagnino is absolutely determined to draw out a relatively simple study of obsession for as long as possible, even when it hurts the movie. “Challengers” has some valuable ideas to share on the state of relationships and the crushing weight of sporting performance, but the helmer has little feel for dramatic rhythm with the effort, often slipping into soap opera mode when he’s not crafting perhaps the most overdirected picture since Michael Bay’s “Ambulance.” Read the rest at


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