Southland Tales

“Once you get on the bang bus... you never get off” -actual quote from this movie

This is probably one of the most backwards ass movies I’ve ever seen, and I’m not sure if I can mark that as a positive or a negative. It could be easily described as a film that doesn’t do anything great, but it does a lot of things. It’s overly hectic, and it leaves more “why’s” in your mind instead of raw satisfaction. I can see why others enjoy this, but this really wasn’t for me.

It’s like Magnolia if it was made by a 9/11 truther. It’s really funny, but usually for the wrong reasons. I’m not sure if I could call it “so bad it’s good”, but it has a lot of hilariously stupid moments. A lot of it comes from the script, which is terrible in pretty much every sense, but some of it came from the mixed performances. Sometimes The Rock was good, sometimes he’s awful. This can pretty much be said for most performances in the film as well. And then Zelda Goldstein shows up, and I just kept thinking of her role as the head witch in Teen Witch and I couldn’t stop laughing every time she was on screen. 

It’s a real mess, but it sure is unique at least? I liked the overuse of the “cyber” aesthetic, though I’ve seen it done a lot better. And the music is genuinely fantastic, and honestly makes some of the scenes fun to watch. And seeing Justin Timberlake was interesting I guess? Though I don’t get why he was in the film in the first place. That’s unfortunately most of what I got out of this weird creature of a film though.

I really don’t know how to size this one up, mostly because I don’t think I fully understand it. Once I think I have a handle on it, a scene happens where a girl threatens to kill herself if The Rock won’t let her suck his dick, and then I’m just lost again. That point is pretty much where the film broke for me, and I never got back on afterwards. I wish I understood it more, but it seems like something I’d have to rewatch again to get more out of it (let alone think about it) and I didn’t enjoy myself enough during this at all to warrant that. 

In summary, this is a huge fuckin’ mess. It’s trying to be like 3 different films at once, but it never plays enough catch up for them to come together at any point. It’s like Million Dollar Extreme's "Ideas Man" but stretched out to 2 and a half hours (Jesus Christ btw) and tries to have a more meaningful message. There’s definitely some messages here to take away, but they get lost so easily in the unnecessary chaos of the film. It wasn’t for me, but it’s also extremely polarizing so it might just be for you! Strong 2!

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