Paper Towns movie full length review - A flimsy paper-thin excuse to capitalize on 2014's 'the Fault of the Stars', fame. You might as well call it "Tumblr: The Movie." It was average at best.
Don't get me wrong, I don't hate this coming to age movie. I just thought it was meh. On paper, this mystery concept of a missing teenager was very compelling.
I like the idea of a young man, life-long crush, Margo Roth Spiegelman (Cara Delevingne) disappears, leaving behind clues that only he, Quentin "Q" Jacobsen (Nat Wolff) and his friends must follow to find her. However, this movie completely missed the point of the third Young Adult novel written by author John Green of the same name. Without spoiling the movie, too much, the whole point of the teen angst story, is for Quentin, to realize that Margo was not a good person and everything she did was an illusion, AKA a 'Paper Town, a facade. However, this movie made it pointless by having them, still romantic interested in each other, and for Quentin to still think of her in a happy ending settling. This was a bad idea for screenwriters Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber to do. It makes Margo still seem like a Pixie Manic Dream Girl to the boys. Margo is supposed to look like the villain. She supposed to do horrible things. Taking away the actual meaning of the character, to make a more generic friendly unthreatening bittersweet story leave a sour taste in my mouth. Then, there was the changes to other things in the plot that fans of the book didn't take well, such as the fact that Q finds Margo randomly after his friends leave him in the middle of nowhere. That was really out of the blue, lucky! However, that scene doesn't work, as good as the original, since, both of them, are technically, in a 'Paper Town' settling. Also, the fact that Margo has suicidal thoughts was never really explore much, besides the beginning of the film made this ending seem uncomplete and inadequate. Another thing that bug me about the film is how Q and his friends race to find Margo and get home in time for prom. In the book, they head out to find Margo immediately after graduation. It made the whole idea of moving on, have so much more impact, then what we got here in this film. Despite that, Nat Wolff does do a great job, as the main character, Quentin. He has that charm and smarts, to pull this character off and keep us entertain. However, I can't say, the same for his co-star, Cara Delevingne. This is Delevingne's first large acting role, besides her model work. Not to discredit Delevingne?who is fine based on author John Green's account to her screen premise?but I have to disagree, I really don't see her, anything more, than her, as eye candy. Famous for famous, sake. Her performance for me, just seem bland. I do agree with Green's first choice; Emma Blackery, a semi famous YouTuber, should had play Margo. In my opinion, Paper Towns works best in Delevingne's absence. Her absence forces, supporting actors like Austin Abrams and Justice Smith to step up, as Quentin's best friends, Ben Starling, and Marcus 'Radar' Lincoln. It really gave them, the moment to shine. After all, the key to author John Green's success is his books' vivid and engaging characters, both major and secondary, who are trying to figure it all out. Quentin's two best friends are just that. I love how much, character development, they are given, here. However, unlike the book, Lacey Pemberton (Halston Sage) and Ben don't have much chemistry here. Many viewers felt Lacey had more chemistry with Q than she did with Ben, or than Q did with Margo. Other changes, they made for the movie is cutting out the character of Karin, and giving more screen time for Angela (Jaz Sinclair). In my opinion, most of these changes, kinda hurts, the film, but there were some changes, that I'm glad, they cut out, such as the Kashmir earthquake & the SeaWorld moment. I really didn't think, those scenes help the main plot, much, because they would had been too distracting, and would made the film seem something else, than it's originally, supposed to be about. Still, I would have love to see the movie kept to the three act, structure of the book, which is divided into three sections: string, grass, and vessel. Despite that, the movie is still able to keep most of the sophisticated dialogue, odd sense of humor and its clever problem-solving mystery. It's also nice to see the cameos of Ansel Elgort and author, John Green in this film. One thing, I'm glad, they kept, was all the references to novels like author Herman Melville's 'Moby Dick', poet Walt Whitman's 'Leaves of Grass' and others. Glad, it's intact. I love it, because it leaves the audience to think critically about identity and how well, we ever really know anyone. Overall: While, it might not be that convincing of an adaptation. Director Jake Schreier did try, his hardest to make the film, entertaining. I just wish, the movie didn't try to make the film so family friendly and simplify. In my opinion, the film is fine, but could had be, so much better. Paper Towns didn't rock, nor could it, had beat it.