After a disagreement between two boys turns violent, the parents of the children converge over the details and the proper way to handle it, only to find themselves acting like children when their differing opinions get out in the open. This oddly entertaining comedy, featuring humor that goes from dry to downright scorched, takes place entirely inside a New York apartment.
Based on the play God of Carnage, director Roman Polanski keeps the pace of a theatrical production and chose a wonderful cast to achieve that. John C. Reilly once again shows his versatile and hilarious skills while Jodie Foster delivers as the self-righteous, politically correct parent who wants to do everything by the book. These two parents play host to a stuffy lawyer and his stay-at-home wife, determined to iron this situation out.
The brightest spot of the film comes courtesy of Christoph Waltz, the actor who burst into the limelight after his Oscar-winning performance as a Jew-hunting Nazi in Inglorious Bastards. This film, however, exposed a funny bone I didn't know existed. Known for playing such horrible people like the animal-abusing ringmaster in Water for Elephants, I thought it would be hard see him as anything but serious, but the man can act and his lines were the driest of all.
Kate Winslet completes the quartet of cast members as the most normal parental figure of the bunch until her husband's constant cell phone blabbering gets the better of her. As tempers flare and patience dwindles, the conversation turns personal as the two couples have an afternoon they'll never forget.
This is a change of pace for director Roman Polanski, who's best known for somber films like The Pianist and Rosemary's Baby. He does a great job of transforming the relatable topic from theater to film and shows audiences how easy it is for parents to overreact when it comes to their children. Choosing a top-notch ensemble to reenact the chaos of parenting, Carnage isn't your average comedy or drama, but it sure has plenty of both.