Last summer I attended a Linkin Park concert in Houston, Texas and before the concert began, there were a buttload of advertisements for Mall. I was really confused as to why a film was being advertised at a concert, but I later discovered that Linkin Park’s DJ and sampler, Joe Hahn, directed the film. He also directed some of Linkin Park’s best-known music videos, such as “Numb,” “From the Inside,” and “ Somewhere I Belong,” so I wasn’t really surprised to find out that he directed an actual feature-length film. As embarrassing as this may sound, the main reason I decided to watch Mall was because Mr. Hahn directed it. Interestingly enough, it was very similar to a Linkin Park music video, due to its slow motion action scenes, futuristic visual features, and soundtrack composed by members of Linkin Park along with Alec Puro (drummer of Deadsy).
Mall is based on a novel of the same name by Eric Bogosian. The film follows the lives of several individuals that connect once a meth addict shoots up their local shopping mall. The film does a great job with bringing attention to the subplots of each individual character without losing focus on the mass mall shooting, but the film does have its share of problems. The biggest problem is that the script is poorly written. It’s difficult to keep up with what’s happening because there’s too much going on and none of it is very interesting. On a more positive note, the film’s visual elements were excellent. Mall is actually kind of similar to Blood and Black Lace (April’s Movie of the Month) because it is a film worth watching for the visuals rather than the story.
I can’t go without mentioning that the one and only Gina Gershon makes an appearance in the film as Donna, a dissatisfied suburban housewife. This role was perfect for Gershon and she was definitely one of the strongest actors in the film. While her character was my probably my favorite, she hasn’t come very far since Showgirls. Yes, she’s still the campy hot mess that I fell in love with years ago.
Unfortunately, Mall wasn’t as good as I expected it to be, but it certainly wasn’t terrible. It falls right in the middle, making it an “ok” film. The underwhelming script and lack of buildup are overshadowed by the amazing cinematography, so it’s definitely worth a watch. A lot of people are going to hate this film, but in the end, it doesn’t even matter.
Mall is currently streaming on Netflix.