I don't know about you, but I have certain expectations about films that involve the following motifs:
· Seedy Drifters
· Duffel Bags Full of Money
· Old Caddys with Fins
I expect long, slow shots of cars driving through the desert landscape. I expect blues-flavored bar rock on the soundtrack. I expect truly sleazy femme fatale types.
What I certainly do not expect is really bad throbbing techno and astoundingly cheesy "avant-garde" editing. These elements work fine in certain genres, but the low-budget desert road/heist movie really does not need an MTV makeover. People have been ripping off John Ford and Sam Peckinpah for years to make these movies, and I see no reason to stop now.
Demian Lichtenstein has done wonders to setting back the public perception of music-video-directors-turned-feature-film-directors all the way back to the early days of Russel Mulcahy. I can only hope the next time David Fincher walks into a trendy Silverlake club and see Lichtenstein doing blow off a hooker's chest, he gives him the beating he so richly deserves for not only inflicting this vile piece of cinema on the American public, but for making all of us just a little less likely to see a film when the promo materials describe it as "a bold first feature from a respected music video director." How does directing freakin' Sting videos qualify you to blow $62 million of Warner Brothers' money?
Maybe I'm being too hard on the guy. Clearly he has no concept of genre convention, nor does he have any idea how to pace a script (which he allegedly co-wrote) He did have the good sense to cast Kurt Russel, but, then again, that may have just been accidental, given that he also cast Kevin Costner and David Arquette. And who told him Courtney Cox would make a good femme fatale? Is there still someone out there who thinks the stars of Friends are bankable?
The more I write about this film, the angrier I seem to be getting. I'd better stop now before I get into legally actionable material...
Rating: D- (Not even a good dumb movie)Reviewed by Padgett Arango