There is so much promise in Michel Gondry's mostly laissez-faire bus ride with Bronx kids antsy to start their summer break that its failure to meet its subtly established goals is all the more regrettable. At times, The We and the I creeps toward the kind of ethnographic view of people who attain universal import in their strict localization and demographic layout that has served Richard Linklater so well. But where Linklater slowly draws human beings, and then a world, from types, Gondry cannot handle the density of his confined population and can only begin to deepen characters after he dumps most of them from the film. The ones who stay are sketched in strokes too broad for what can otherwise feel so real. I've seen this get mostly positive notices, but I could not help but be disappointed.
My full review is up now at Spectrum Culture.