Review: Vincent Mancini Reviews Other Reviews in Subversive “Gravity” Review
By Marcus Julianus, Associate Critic
Although reviews aren’t meant to review other reviews, Vince Mancini does so in the tense third act of his “REVIEW: ‘Gravity’ captures the pants-sh*tting vastness of space,” and it truly works.
Before Pants-Sh*tting Vastness reaches that point, however, it pushes the envelope with Mancini’s characteristic style. He’s informed but not pedantic, often flavoring his work with off-color remarks and foul words that more often than not add color rather than distract. Fans of the auteur will be delighted.
Indeed, it’s Mancini’s voice that propels Pants-Sh*tting Vastness forward, and the project wouldn’t work with anyone else at the helm. As the main character, he deals with disbelief, existential dread, loneliness, and in a titular sequence, he soils himself. Defecation appears more than once in this work, serving as a clever metaphor for the way his audience can expect their expectations to be dismissed.
These expectations are not dismissed arbitrarily or summarily. Mancini makes clear what frightens him so, and it should (and does) frighten audiences as well.
The undercurrent of fear lets up a little bit in Mancini’s telling final act, where Pants-Sh*tting Vastness actually takes on other reviewmakers (not by name, but one may guess). His conclusion is utterly thrilling, and so counter to the less exceptional fare this season that it alone is worth the price of admission.