Academy Award nominees Jake Gyllenhaal and Naomi Watts star in this headlong plunge into the depths of human emotion from Dallas Buyers Club director Jean-Marc Vallée. Audaciously offbeat yet profoundly heartfelt, Demolition is a film about the need to take apart everything in one's life in order to build it anew.
New York investment banker Davis Mitchell (Gyllenhaal) is sleepwalking through a life of easy success when a horrible car crash wakes him with a start. His lovely wife, Julia, is killed. Friends and family gather round to console him, but Davis seems to feel nothing. Seemingly unfazed by his loss yet preoccupied by his inability to retrieve a candy bar from a hospital vending machine, Davis takes to writing absurdly protracted — and increasingly confessional — letters of complaint to the Champion Vending Machine Company. Those letters are answered by Karen (Watts), a mysterious, eccentric Champion employee. Davis' letters somehow resonate with Karen. As Davis finds himself undertaking a campaign of random acts of destruction, dismantling everything from household appliances to an office washroom stall, he and Karen forge a strange and beautiful alliance. Both put their own interests at risk — but what they discover in the aftermath may prove far more valuable.
Written by Bryan Sipe, Demolition is an emotional roller coaster of a movie, by turns hilarious and devastating. We cannot help but root for Davis, even as he runs roughshod over the interests of others, including his grief-stricken father-in-law (Oscar winner Chris Cooper). Not unlike the heroine of Vallée's Wild, Davis goes to extremes to find his centre.