Probably the worst film I've ever seen1/10
I specifically registered with IMDb to write this review, as I don't want anyone else to have to sit through this film. I have absolutely no idea why it's being reviewed so favourably. It is truly, truly awful and I spent the majority it watching through my hands, because I just couldn't stand the overbearing mediocrity of the whole thing. There is absolutely nothing original about it, and as others have said, the dialogue is teeth-clenchingly risible.
I was nervous from the very first conversation, when the Hiddleston's character loftily name- drops a historical figure he knew (because he's like, you know, really old? Get it?). His pal says 'what happened to him?' Hiddleston replies 'Ahh, he was casually shot by a parliamentarian', to which the response is 'Whoah man, that sucks.'. Alarm bells were a-ringing.
If you were to ask the least-gifted film-maker on earth what he would do to try and liven up the dialogue of a two world-weary, wise old vampires, he would probably confidently reply 'They could talk about all the awesome people they've known throughout history! It would be amazing!'. And so we have it that time and again, a passage of dialogue exists only to demonstrate that one of them knew a celebrity from the last 400 years.
For example, the Adam and Eve (sigh) are playing chess when Eve pipes up 'Did you play chess with Byron?' Adam says 'Ah, why do you always do this?', Eve says 'Oh come on, you know I love to hear about these kind of things' Adam replies 'He was a pompous ass.'. Eve guffaws. It's not over yet though. There's more blood to be beaten out of this stone. She continues with 'And what about Mary? Mary Wollstonecraft?' Adam replies with 'She was delicious.' REALLY? Are we actually doing this? Is this what I paid to see? It was like a scene from mid-90s TV movie Bernard and The Genie starring Lenny Henry and Alan Cumming, only that had the good sense not to take itself seriously.
Then there is the relentless, exposition about every little thing, as if Jarmusch was so insanely chuffed with each derivative idea he came across that he wanted to make doubly sure you got it. So something's chucked out there (invariably a gag about having been alive for centuries), you roll your eyes, then it's explained why it was said.
As a final hurrah from the Bernard and the Genie gag (and this is the spoiler), as their friend Christopher Marlowe (John Hurt) lies on his death bed, they look at his writing desk. Above it is a picture of Shakespeare. There is then (yet another) exposition conversation which reveals that Marlowe wrote all of Shakespeare's works. Of course he did. He says something along the lines of 'Talentless old hack. But we needed him to take all the credit because I was supposed to be dead.'. If that was the case, why would you have a picture of him above your desk? Is it just so that it could spark off that pointless little conversation for the benefit of the audience?
At one point Eve is on the phone to the airline, booking her ticket to Detroit. It was like a conversation from 60s batman 'What's that commissioner, there's a bomb under the central bank? And we've only got 7 minutes before it goes off?' Eve's conversation went as follows: 'So I'm flying tomorrow night to Paris? Then I'm flying from Paris to Detroit?' The point of this purely being so that a) you get the point (which is repeated later in the film for the return flight) that they can only fly at night (because they're vampires, yeah?) and b) when you see her on a french airline in the next scene, you don't think 'why's she on a French airline?'.
Another example: She finds a wooden bullet that Adam has had made. We know he had it made because there was a whole scene dedicated to him putting in the request for it. She looks closely at the bullet. In reality the emotional impact to her would come from the fact that he has a gun in his flat with a wooden bullet in it. But she is then made to say (bearing in mind she's on her own, and people don't come out with explanatory statements when they're on their own in real life) 'This has been recently made!'. We know it has! And we assume that you know it has because in the previous scene it was demonstrated that you can date things just by touching them! But just to eliminate any doubt, she talks you through it.
The whole film feels like it was edited by Jarmusch's mum, who watched it and, after wiping away a proud tear, said 'I'm not going to change a thing my darling, it's wonderful just as it is.'. Although this does suggest that good editing would have saved this. it wouldn't. It's unwatchable down to its bones.