White Noise review: Wordy script makes this adaptation crash and burn

It begins with Don Cheadle’s lecturer delivering a treatise on the cultural significance of the car accident in American cinema. Sadly, this wordy, smug, and fatally charmless ’80s drama is also something of a car wreck.

Adam Driver sports a beer belly to play Jack Gladney, an unconvincing middle-aged professor of Hitler studies. Greta Gerwig with a frizzy hairdo plays his flamboyant wife and four young actors struggle with a neat script to play their precocious children.

After grueling scenes of intellectuals theatrically flaring up on a college campus, something akin to a movie plot is activated when a truck carrying poison gas crashes on the outskirts of their town.

As a “toxic air event” hits their street, the Gladneys embark on a road trip.

There are a couple of memorable moments and an entertaining musical sequence behind the end credits. But this is a car accident where it is very easy to look the other way.

White Noise is already in theaters, on Netflix since December 30 (certified 15).

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