“Macbeth is Joel Coen’s shittiest movie by several billion light years. If all the elephants in all the world crapped into the same canyon for 100 years, you would still not have a pile of shit half a large as Joel Coen’s dumb-as-a-dog-dick rendering of this classic tale. One can’t watch Macbeth without getting the sense that something is missing; some inspired element that gave Mr. Coen’s earlier work an aura of ebullient genius is absent this time. The wit, verve, and undeniable rugged machismo that characterized the other 18 films in which he happened to be involved are nowhere to be found here. Ultimately, one must conclude that what’s lacking is talent itself.
Consider the very decision to adapt Macbeth. The choice belies deep insecurity; Mr. Coen seems, on some level, to understand that he has the talent God gave a balloon full of piss, and therefore needs to latch onto more talented artists like a lamprey sucking the life out of a majestic blue whale. A less insecure director might have been satisfied with a less esteemed piece of intellectual property, but Mr. Coen glommed onto perhaps the best known play by the world’s most renowned playwright in a move that screams “HELP! THE NO TALENT POLICE ARE RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER! PLEASE, SOMEONE RESCUE ME BEFORE I’M EXPOSED AS A FRAUD WHO SOMEHOW FELL ASS-FIRST INTO A MOVIE CAREER!”-Ethan Cohen, “Joel Coen’s ‘The Tragedy of Macbeth’, Reviewed by Ethan Coen.” imightbewrong.substack.com. January 28, 2022
The enemy is often closer (and funnier) than one thinks.