Southland Tales

Southland Tales ★★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

From the perspective of a (dead?) U.S. soldier, a racist cop is the messiah and The Rock is the AntiChrist (an amazing prophecy of rightwing Obama conspiracy theory). Religion is deconstructed as the source of all of our political ills. Totally sensing the rise of Jordan Peterson, the film's villains are a group of "NeoMarxists" who undermine the fascist utopia of Muslim-hating NeoCons.

Before TWIN PEAKS: THE RETURN, Richard Kelly tried to tell a similar story of an absurdist, solipsistic apocalypse. Its a very ambitious film but probably too much. I know the ridiculous overload of spectacle, cameos & one-liners is intentional but its only entertaining half of the time.

But I can't hate a film that pairs so many then-underutilized actors together and makes a joke about Cheri Oteri sharing screentime with her SNL replacement Amy Poehler. The film indulges in a lot of goofy shit I appreciate, but it feels like the poetry of DARKO was sacrificed for the money & scope of the production. Its supposed to be an anti-blockbuster but some blockbusters are more consistent in quality. Making it a comedy was a big risk that semi- pays off but the WTF climax wasn't WTF enough for me.

This is a good satire & a really surreal experience at times, like Bunuel doing SNL. But like an episode of SNL, its overlong & full of dated topical humor. And Bunuel would've thrown in more constructive, progressive ideas among the ironic slam dunks on American idiocy.

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