Southland Tales

Handsomely filmed and initially intriguing, this yarn set in the near future slowly but surely finds itself sliding ever deeper into silliness and confusion. Donnie Darko whizkid Richard Kelly had to seriously re-edit this after a disastrous debut at Cannes a couple of years back, and it shows. Whole character arcs and characters were removed (Janeane Garofalo gets fourth billing in the credits but now appears for a total of five seconds in a crowd scene at the end) and shuffled, making this a bit of an indulgent bore after the stylistic jigsaw cleverness of Darko. Kelly throws in his favourite time paradox stuff, but here it’s relegated to the background for the most part and only explored in a perfunctory way. He’s leaving it up to the viewer to decipher or has no idea himself what is going on. No doubt here are deeper meanings and metaphors of the current state of the US and world at play here, but to be honest I have no desire to delve into them as the movie is alternately bland and cartoonish. A director’s cut would be welcome though. Best scene – Eli Roth getting shotgunned to death while taking a dump.