I didn't think visionary Nicolas Winding Refn could make a worse movie until I saw THE NEON DEMON. This is a film I can't go back and give it another try to see if my feelings change. I do this with ONLY GOD FORGIVES once a year and the results are the same: I hate you. I know Refn was under a lot of pressure after the massive success of DRIVE, and he didn't want people to think he was making DRIVE 2, but casting Gosling as the silent anti-hero again kind of chopped and screwed everything. ONLY GOD FORGIVES has one of the best titles in cinema, and a few cool scenes (The quick "Wanna fight?" moment is amazing), the movie forgot to have a plot and is just scenes cut together.
In NEON DEMON, Jesse (Elle Fanning), young and naive, runs away to LA to become a model. She's got natural beauty and seems to be on the right track. Then she starts to hang with a group of vicious models Ruby (Jena Malone), Gigi (Bella Heathcote), and Sarah (Abbey Lee), who understand how cutthroat the modeling business is.
Keanu Reeves makes an appearance as a pedophile apartment complex owner and his role is criminally underused. I want to see more of this vile Reeves, but we get just a glimpse.
The PR company in control of handling NEON DEMON sent press eyeballs, and you will learn why at some point in the movie. Great marketing.
NEON DEMON was co-written by two women, so I'm curious if the modeling world is really this ugly. (I sure hope not.)
If you are a Refn fan and/or model, I would say give this a rent.