A troubling feature about machismo, mental anguish and toxic masculinity, Here Are The Young Men squanders its incredibly talented cast.
Following the final day of high school, three teenaged boys in Dublin witness a fatal car crash that leaves a young girl dead. It affects the boys on the cusp of adulthood in different ways, and they each have to find – or chose not to find – a way through the trauma.
Based on the blockbuster novel by Rob Doyle, there’s a ton of potential here that gets squandered on a style-over-substance film that emulates Trainspotting stylings with none of the emotional heft.
Director Eoin Macken, best known as an actor in TV fare Merlin and The Night Shift, creates a visually confusing, frenetic, tonal mess that never quite finds even footing.
Sometimes nonsensical and sometimes hugely impactful, the biggest flaw about Here Are The Young Men is that is wastes a whole lot of talent here on something unworthy.
Dean-Charles Chapman, of 1917 and Game Of Thrones fame, is going to be absolutely huge. Likewise, Finn Cole is one of my favourite young talents due to his work in series Peaky Blinders and Animal Kingdom. Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, best known for his young role in the delightful Sing Street and his time on Vikings, makes the best of his scant screentime.
In addition, Vikings star Travis Fimmel is on-hand, as are the brilliant Anya Taylor-Joy and Game Of Thrones’ Conleth Hill. Everyone gives their absolute all, especially Taylor-Joy, Chapman and Cole. And yet, somehow all their singular talents combined can’t carry the screenplay.
I pray they remake this in two decades and give the novel the treatment it deserves. There are flashes of brilliance here, but they’re too few and far between for me to recommend it.