Neon light flashes over a snooker table. Welcome to Refn’s world.
Nicolas Refn is very famous or infamous for his movies. According to Miles Teller Refn does not say “ACTION” when directing, he says “LETS F**K”. Creator of highly controversial “Only God Forgives” now stepped into TV with his own trademark style and not giving a f**k about what traditional TV should look like and what the audience would want. Too Old is surreal and yet so naturalistic. People talk in never-ending pauses when you’re expecting they will say something they don’t, they keep sitting or standing without moving for so long, things happening in Too Old To Die Young is very real the way they are happening though is Refn’s way of doing them.
The storyline is pretty basic, it’s a cop who killed a Mexican Cartel boss and her son takes revenge but kills the wrong cop. The show is 13 plus hours with each episode lengths about 75min. The first episode is all about placing plot points, Refn shows you these characters, their lives. The second episode is just about the background of Jesus whose mother was killed and he’s now in Mexico after killing that cop waiting for things to calm down in LA. Characters keep coming in and out. This show is cruel, it has no mercy for its characters, it does not attach itself with a character, and this is why it was so unpredictable there is not a single character you can pin that he is going to survive this snake pit.
The aesthetic beauty of the show is impossible to put in words. The cinematography is absolutely stunning, the best of the year, not just on TV but films also. Refn is master when it comes to setting a frame, and the DoP did a remarkable job of fulfilling Refn’s needs. The use of color, the movements of the camera are eye-catching, it is a staggering pice of camera work. The background score is haunting and horrifying at times. In seconds episode, Jesus in executing a bunch of cops and there’s opera playing in the background. I love Refn for choices like these. He does not limit himself when it’s about doing something new something fresh.
The show is violent just like anything that belongs to Refn. Too Old takes violence to a level when it’s often unbearable. There’s a reality and there’s no hope. In the eighth episode *spoiler ahead* our main guy Martin is caught by Jesus and being kept captive, and being constantly tortured and brutalized. One would expect Martin to escape, but no reality is different this show is different and in this very episode Jesus chops him into pieces. The episode does not end here, because for Refn it’s not a big twist or anything, it’s just normality, and it should have happened. This scene really scared me because it took that piece of hope away from me. I love it when a director can do this to you and I absolutely adore Refn for that.
There’s a lot going on in this show yet it’s so calm and emotionless. Jesus role-playing with his Wife Yaritza who’s playing his mom and they’re having sexual intercourse which points towards Jesus’s taboo relationship with his late mother. In one scene Yaritza gave Jesus a handjob, the weirdest I’ve seen, and makes him eat his own cum afterward. Martin dating an underage girl whose father is making that creepy tiger-like notices, jerking off while talking about his daughter and much more. Refn’s strange fetishism is on display and it’ll make you quite uncomfortable at times.
If you are a Refn fan, Too Old To Die Young is a treat for you, it’s like watching a giant movie of Refn but if you are not his fan, or familiar with his work or do not have enough patience this show is going to bore you to death. But if you are a person otherwise this show is GOLD, I have not seen many TV shows this year but for what I’ve seen this must stand right on top.