Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Southland Tales

I seem to remember Richard Kelly's Donnie Darko follow up getting universally panned, being ridiculed at Cannes and disappearing back into the edit suite for a time, I also remember being very very intrigued by the trailer.

I missed seeing it in the cinema, in fact I missed seeing it for quite a while, always unsure as to whether it looked any good or not. Skip forward to December 2008 and an HMV 3 for £20 deal (this, [Rec] and Death Sentence btw). A day off over the xmas period and a quiet sit down to finally watch Southland Tales.

It's very weird, it makes very little sense, although you can follow a basic plot, it's over the top, part film - part music video and I loved it.

All the characters are off the wall, quirks, their affiliations are all over the place and for the most part you're not sure who's working for who or what their agendas are, which I guess kinda works as our main protagonist Boxer Santaros (Dwayne Johnson) doesn't really know what's going on either, at least not until the film's conclusion.

The highlights of the film for me, apart from just the really randomly enjoyable style, are Dwayne Johnson, Seann William Scott and Justin Timberlake. Now that may make me sound like a twelve year old girl, but their performances in this, whilst not Oscar worthy, certainly made me look at them in a different light.

The film is pure Sci-Fi, it's all out bat-shit crazy for it and that's part of what makes it so wonderful, it takes a heavy influence from Verhoeven, which is no bad thing but it's also, stylistically very now. It's a bit heavy handed with it's politics, but it does the job. I can see how it's not to everyone's tastes, but I was pleasantly surprised and am looking forward to The Box.

Southland Tales - 8/10

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