Maybe it was to be expected that the vampire saga “Only Lovers Left Alive” has a sluggish pulse.
Its writer/director, Jim Jarmusch, is the master of understated ennui. His androgynous hipster protagonists Eve (Tilda Swinton) and Adam (Tom Hiddleston) have been around for centuries. There aren’t a lot of new experiences to excite them. They’ve seen it all, studied everything, and have pedantic opinions about vintage rock guitars and Arabic pop music. They don’t suck necks — how primitive! — but buy their supply like well-to-do heroin addicts. They view themselves as the evolutionary successors to humans (or “zombies,” as they call the living). They don’t actually do much beside staring pensively at the ceiling or clubbing after dark in sunglasses. Though they don’t inhabit coffins, they are still listless layabouts.
Adam lives a nocturnal life in the modern ghost town of Detroit, while Eve resides in Tangier. The plot drifts more than it flows. The action of the film, what little there is, concerns their reunion in Michigan, the arrival of Eve’s bratty, party-hearty sister Eva (Mia Wasikowska) and the mild threat of discovery that her misbehavior triggers.
Swinton and Hiddleston make a striking mirror-image pair. With her shock of albino-blond hair and his ebony tresses they resemble Edward Gorey salt and pepper shakers. I found the blasé twosome and the film they inhabit faux-bohemian, drearily deadpan and criminally boring.
The movie may have some value as a parable about aging into irrelevance, but everyone knows that getting old is a drag.
I did learn one thing from the film. The “Twilight” series no longer contains my least favorite blood guzzlers.