It's not that it's better than the other sequels; it's just that the other sequels don't have Michael Parks as the villian.
It offers all of the charms of the Sturges filmography – snappy dialogue, colorful supporting characters, screwball energy, laughs a’plenty – along with Henry Fonda at his dopiest and Barbara Stanwyck exhibiting what a friend (rightfully) dubs “epic domme energy.”
My favorite thing is how they introduce his diary but *don’t* have him voice-over from it, as if THAT was the thing that would make us all notice they were ripping off TAXI DRIVER.
Anyhoo I fucking loathed it, and not because it’s particularly provocative or irresponsible; it’s too stupid to be. It’s just a dipshit lunkhead bro’s idea of how to make an Extremely Serious Movie. That score!
My friend, the film critic, noted “Netflixpert” and Playlist contributor, Charles Bramesco, once summarized the conundrum of Netflix original films thus: “It’s where great filmmakers go to make their worst film.” This is, to be clear, not an airtight theory (and obviously subjective); for every few “Hold the Dark”s or “Land of Steady Habits”es, you can find a “Da 5 Bloods” or “Marriage Story” to effectively counter. But the underlying point stands. The streaming service’s much-noted hands-off production process seems…