Originally Posted by xen0phile:
Maybe I'm not thinking about this the right way, but the protagonist could easily have failed. In the real world, I'm guessing 99/100 times, pulling shit like chasing a police chase, or staging a murder, would have gotten him arrested or killed.
That's one major problem I had with it. For some random guy who, "Is on his computer all day, getting teh learnin's" he is retardedly lucky and successful. He's got the luck of like, a major Marvel comic book franchise hero, like Iron Man or Spiderman. It's total wish-fulfillment, but in this case it's Palahniukian nihilist wish-fulfillment rather than escape-certain-death, save-the-world gary stu bullshit of comic movies.
He runs like a hundred red lights in high-traffic areas at 80 mph without a goddamn scratch, just for starters, nevermind being at multiple crime scenes with blood everywhere and obvious incriminating evidence. I'm like, "Ok, this guy is going to like STUB HIS FUCKING TOE or something, at least, at some point. But no, he escapes every single incident with his annoying little emaciated face perfectly unscathed. It's like he's fucking Moses parting the Red Sea, where the Red Sea here is the copious oceans of blood, mayhem, and death he's vulturing on and causing.
In a way, Nightcrawler straw-mans the societal anomie and fuckedness it's attempting to critique. "Look at this terrible economy, terrible hyper-capitalist jobless wasteland where kids have to cut copper wiring, lift manholes and steal watches in the dark, begging for the chance of an unpaid internship. Oh, but you know what? It's the fault of those sociopaths over there. Those weirdo EVIL anti-people people, rather than a collective failure and weakness of everyone in the society." Also Gyllenhal is a good guy, but this is obvious, "Look at me, I want an Oscar, pretty please! I'm half-retard!" type acting.
Buzzard Deals with basically the same sort of issues as Nightcrawler, and the protragonist is even pretty goddamn despicable. A regular millenial, shit out of luck with no money and no job prospects, going to desperate lengths. But the protagonist in Buzzard felt a whole lot more believable, and had a humanity about him that gave the film more weight. It wasn't just an "I do bad things, because I am evil," (Which Gyllenhal actually SAYS), but just a regular guy who is in a complex set of circumstances and emotional states that leads him to rationalizing acts, which one might consider "wrong" on the face of it, "justified", or "retaliation", depending on the angle. He also not as flat as Gyllenhal's sociopath, and has a mom he cares about and fakes having a career for to keep happy. He honestly feels bad about shit he has to do, even as he rationalizes his way through them.