42 Up film review

It gets longer every seven years!

Now clocking in at a monstrous 2 hours, 19 minutes, the sixth installment of Michael Apted’s ambitious but uniformly unenlightening 7 Up series drags us down a familiar road, kicking and screaming all the way.

Yet again, Apted shows us how the baker’s dozen of Brit-kids he first profiled 35 years ago (and most recently in 35 Up) have turned out exactly as you would have expected. Or the complete opposite. But even that turns out to be a lie, as Apted turns the words of a seven year old girl (I don’t want kids!) into a supposed absolute, then purporting to amuse us when the woman has a family of three, as if the predictions of a seven year old have any bearing whatsoever on reality.

In 42 Up, Apted chooses to look into the dual themes of relationship issues and people contracting rare illnesses, a pairing which is rarely interesting yet frequently nonsensical.

Frankly, I’m ready for the 7 Up series to go away altogether — nothing has changed at all in the last seven years, and what has changed is essentially pretty boring. Let it go, Michael. Your subjects are obviously ready to do the same.

Aka Forty Two Up.

Christopher Null © 2001 filmcritic.com

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