Johnny Depp and Paul Rubens (who plays Jung's contact in California) do give wonderful performances, and their fellow cast members are competent, if unmemorable. Unfortunately, whatever virtues a few of the actors lend the film are more than offset by its numerous flaws. Visually, Blow is no more interesting than the average made for television movie. Narratively, it is formulaic, and, emotionally, it is manipulative and clumsy.
There is simply little to say about Blow. It resembles countless other biographies that have come before it. While George Jung is a sympathetic character, his being so must be credited entirely to Depp's talent as an actor rather than to Demme's ham-handed directing. To elicit sympathy for Jung in the film's final act, and to make the viewer aware of the sadness he suffers because of the choices he made in his life, the director draws exclusively upon various overused, hackneyed conventions that can be found in numerous other works. It is almost as though Demme, when making Blow, was being guided by instructions given in a handbook describing how a film is to be constructed. He has, as a consequence, created a trite, trivial movie.
I will remember Johnny Depp's portrayal of George Jung, with which the actor should be pleased, but nearly every other element of Blow is utterly forgettable.
Review by Keith Allen
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