An emotionally desperate investment banker finds hope through a woman he meets.
- Davis Mitchell: Jake Gyllenhaal
- Karen Moreno: Naomi Watts
- Phil Eastwood: Chris Cooper
- Chris Moreno: Judah Lewis
- Carl: C.J. Wilson
- Margot Eastwood: Polly Draper
- Davis’ Dad: Malachy Cleary
- Davis’ Mom: Debra Monk
- Julia: Heather Lind
- Jimmy: Wass Stevens
- Amy: Blaire Brooks
- Steven: Ben Cole
- Todd: Brendan Dooling
- Ray: Madison Arnold
- John: James Colby
- Michael: Alfredo Narciso
- Nurse: Gregory Haney
- Ahmed: James Young
- DOT Agent #1: Bjorn Dupaty
- Bucaneer Diner Waitress: Jane Dashow
- Dr. Brodkey: Tom Kemp
- Security Marty: Royce Johnson
- Young Waitress: Hani Avital
- Punk Girl: Celia Au
- Woman Crying: Elizabeth Loyacano
- Mickey: Stephen Badalamenti
- Chris’ Doctor: Mark Lewis
- Chris’ Friend: Aaron Bantum
- Attractive Bartender: Lytle Harper
- Mourner: Kevin Herbst
- Casting: Suzanne Smith
- Producer: John Malkovich
- Production Design: John Paino
- Producer: Sidney Kimmel
- Executive Producer: Ellen H. Schwartz
- Producer: Molly Smith
- Executive Producer: Jason Reitman
- Producer: Lianne Halfon
- Producer: Russell Smith
- Producer: Thad Luckinbill
- Producer: Jean-Marc Vallée
- Stunts: Christopher Place
- Sound Re-Recording Mixer: Gavin Fernandes
- Music Supervisor: Susan Jacobs
- Hair Department Head: Michelle Johnson
- Costume Design: Leah Katznelson
- Set Decoration: Robert Covelman
- Casting: Jessica Kelly
- Art Direction: Javiera Varas
- Executive Producer: Helen Estabrook
- Makeup Department Head: Evelyne Noraz
- Dialect Coach: William Conacher
- Dialect Coach: Elizabeth Himelstein
- Executive Producer: Nathan Ross
- Construction Coordinator: Pierre Rovira
- Still Photographer: Anne Marie Fox
- Screenplay: Bryan Sipe
- Sound Re-Recording Mixer: Louis Gignac
- Gaffer: Jason Velez
- Makeup Artist: Rachel Geary
- Sound Designer: Martin Pinsonnault
- Steadicam Operator: Brant S. Fagan
- Boom Operator: Frank Graziadei
- Producer: Trent Luckinbill
- Associate Producer: Emma McGill
- Art Department Coordinator: Robert Zorella
- Carpenter: Michael Kall
- Assistant Costume Designer: Jill Losquadro
- Set Costumer: Christie Espinosa
- Set Costumer: Angela Mirabella-Friedman
- Key Hair Stylist: Adenike Wright
- Property Master: Omar Vaid
- Foley Artist: Simon Meilleur
- Assistant Editor: Edith Bellehumeur
- Executive Producer: Carla Hacken
- First Assistant Camera: Paul Bode
- First Assistant Director: Urs Hirschbiegel
- Stunt Coordinator: Alex Terzieff
- Second Assistant Director: Keith Marlin
- Sound Effects Editor: Anton Fischlin
- Sound Effects Editor: Paul Col
- ADR Editor: Thomas Brodeur
- Foley Editor: Francis Gauthier
- Key Grip: Colin Keech
- Production Coordinator: Erin Borel
- Colorist: Marc Boucrot
- Graphic Designer: Edward A. Ioffreda
- Production Accountant: Spring Sutter
- Producer: Jon Schumacher
- Second Second Assistant Director: Scott Bowers
- Director of Photography: Yves Bélanger
- Dialogue Editor: Sebastien Lacheray
- Stunt Double: Rob Mock
- Second Assistant Camera: Stephen Kozlowski
- Second Assistant Director: Mike Reiersen
- Leadman: T.J. Horan
- Sound Recordist: Brady Nelson
- Assistant Editor: Ivy Yukiko Ishihara Oldford
- Studio Teacher: Joel Timothy Bible
- Reno: > When we won’t feel a thing for a great loss…
I am observing closely Jake Gyllenhaal’s acting career and he’s giving the best performances in all his films. He’s one of top 5 best actor of our generation. So technically I love all his films, especially in the recent years and tell me who won’t if they love good stories and performance. I expected this to be another excellent film and yes it was, but not that great.
What he has given to his fans and film viewers is the promise and fulfilled it all the way. So even an average film can automatically become a better one. This film was based on the one of the blacklisted script, but Gyllenhaal’s presence made all the difference along with the wonderful director.
It was the story of a man who lost his wife in a car accident. His way of grieving is what the film narrates. He realises that he’s not able feel a thing when everyone around does, so he decides to make search for the answers and so the bizarre journey begins. The casting was good, but it was all about the Gyllenhaal’s role. I like Naomi Watts, but for the first time she looked old to me. And the others did not have much screenspace, except that new face boy who was decent.
I think not everyone would enjoy it, it is a weird story of almost a weird person, so you would easily get it. You must need to be a patience, besides it is a dark comedy. You might wonder why the title was named ‘Demolition’, the films gives a strange demonstration for that in a good way. It is not like a must see, but totally worth for Gyllenhaal alone. I can’t say it should have been better, because there’s nothing to get better, everything was at its best.
- JPRetana: Early on in Demolition there is a brief but interesting scene. Davis Mitchell (Jake Gyllenhaal) is looking in a mirror, crying the way bad actors do – i.e., contorting the face to compensate for the inability to produce tears.
Gyllenhaal is of course far from a bad actor, and sure enough, Davis immediately regains his composure. Was he rehearsing? Quite possibly, especially when you consider that he seems more concerned with the faulty vending machine in the hospital hallway than the fact that his wife Julia (Heather Lind) has just died in a car accident.
But Davis is not a heartless bastard; he simply finds it easier to depend on the kindness of strangers. For example, the letter he writes to the vending machine company, which quickly becomes a confessional epistle, and gives us a clue to his impassive reaction to Julia’s death.
In contrast, Davis is unable to relate to Phil Eastwood (Chris Cooper), Julia’s father. As usual, Cooper delivers the goods, in particular an emotional speech about how there is no word – such as ‘orphan’ or ‘widower’ – to describe someone who has lost a child.
Ironically, while we’ve been fascinated by Cooper’s craft, Davis’s mind has been wandering, trying to discern why the drinks are so expensive at the restaurant where they’re at, without taking the slightest notice of a single word his father-in-law has said.
Meanwhile, the letters he will continue to write to the vending machine company customer service department become his main outlet. In a delightful plot twist, Karen Moreno (Naomi Watts), the company’s only customer service rep, has been moved to tears by Davis’s missives, and begins talking to him on the phone.
Davis is certainly an intriguing character, and to develop him Gyllenhaal has borrowed from others as well as himself. Davis is outwardly a vain, aloof yuppie like Christian Bale in American Psycho – although instead of dismembering people, he takes apart machines, not bothering to put them back together again.
At the same time, he undergoes an inner transformation that is a combination of Kevin Spacey’s in American Beauty and Ron Livingston’s in Office Space. Also, Davis becomes the opposite of Gyllenhaal’s character in Moonlight Mile.
Unfortunately, Demolition loses momentum in the second half, with director Jean-Marc Vallée putting the plot on autopilot. Davis and Karen’s relationship is perfect when limited to letters and phone calls, but goes awry as soon as they meet in person. Additionally, and completely out of the clear blue sky, Davis is diagnosed with a rare medical condition that results in part of his heart being apparently eaten by “gypsy moths.” The hell?.
All things considered, Demolition feels familiar, and we can recognize elements we’ve seen elsewhere, but while some of it is clichéd, the outside-the-box use of some of those familiar elements is in itself refreshing; furthermore, Gyllenhaal provides another stellar performance.