Sharper (AppleTV) Review
Sharper is the latest thriller from AppleTV+, filled with twists, turns and double-crosses galore. Despite a strong cast and its slightly unconventional structure, this movie isn’t nearly as sharp as it would like you to believe it is.
Breaking chronological order to give us the story in character focused chapters is perhaps the best thing Sharper has going for it. This splits up the narrative flow nicely, purposely leaving story gaps to keep the audience guessing. Each new chapter adds context to what came before, and creatively builds toward a complete story.
Unfortunately, once you see past this gimmick and look at the story as a whole, it leaves a lot to be desired in the way of originality or ingenuity. The unorthodox narrative structure is an engaging way to unravel this twisty thriller, but the plot isn’t interesting enough for that structure to work to its full potential. This film takes so much time throughout these chapters, setting each piece in place, that when it comes time for the finale, you might feel a bit of impatience setting in.
Thankfully, great performances cover up many of the narrative shortcomings, and make even some of the most mundane scenes enjoyable. Sebastian Stan and Julianne Moore make the most of their screen-time, and play off one another brilliantly in the handful of scenes they share. The ways in which these characters are woven into each other’s lives does lead to some thoroughly enjoyable and unexpected interactions.
Sharper is what I like to call a Sunday afternoon thriller. It’s a decent enough way to kill a couple hours, with worthwhile performances and enough twists to remain engaging. However, aside from a somewhat creative narrative structure, it lacks true creativity or originality, and will likely become a movie you’ll forget you even watched a few months from now.
Review by: Benjamin Garrett