We are Philip K. Dick fans at Cinema du Chien and one of our favorite Philip Dick novels is The Man in the High Castle (1962). It seems reasonable, therefore, that we would be curious about Amazon Studios‘s adaptation of the book and, two episodes in, we’re ready to deem it good, not great.
Visually The Man in the High Castle (2015) is fun to watch, despite the violent, grim story. While it is an alternative history scenario, it feels like a period piece that melds 1940s urban chic with dingy 1960s Soviet Bloc destitude.
The acting is fine, even quite good, but it feels all wrong to me. Unless a character is getting the sh#t beat out of him (so far all men), all the characters are a little too smug and beautiful for people supposedly living under the tutulage of brutal fascist regimes. (Even DJ Qualls looks studly.)
Overall the characters are rather two dimensional, the story similarly flat and predictable. Nontheless, there is plenty of action and diplomatic gamesmanship, just not a lot of surprises. Expect a lot of shootings, beatings, and wet pavement, a noir film in living color. The Man in the High Castle is one of the best mediocre films I have seen in quite some time.