RamboAlien’s review published on Letterboxd:
I'm not at the point yet, where I would call this film a masterpiece, but I have to say that it most definitely has grown on me and I actually think that it's a good movie now.
I like how ballsy it is and just how many interesting ideas and topics just are in this one film. There are ideas in this movie that were very much ahead of it's time: The state surveillance organisation US-Ident that this film features really mirrors the NSA. (I also find it funny that Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson plays the major film star Boxer Santaros that everybopdy knows in this universe and that he basically became that film star in real life). Sarah Michelle Gellar plays a porn star called Krysta Now in this. She has her very own Reality-Show, Energy Drink and Pop songs. She kind of reminds me of some celebrities of today, like for example Kim Kadashian, who originally became famous, because of a sex tape and now also has had multiple Tv-Shows of her own.
However, what I like the most about the film is how it builds a universe and a certain atmosphere in a way that only Richard Kelly could. The soundtrack by Moby is amazing and perfectly fits to what's going on on screen and even though some of the CG doesn't really look all that good anymore, there's still something incredibly beautiful about the way this film looks.
Kelly is most known for his for his first feature "Donnie Darko": A beautifully shot Coming-of-Age tale about time travel and a creepy guy in a bunny suit, which is undoubtably a lot more accessible than "Southland Tales". Now, I'm not saying that "Donnie Darko" is not weird, great or is easy to understand, but it's a lot less confusing than "Southland Tales". You need to watch "Southland Tales" multiple times to even get an idea of what it's about and that is not necessairly meant as a positive, because the way the film is structured is definitely messy. However, I'm willing to look pass that, because this film is truly one-of-a-kind. It's the only film that I can think of that's transmedia: It's a sequel to something that was done in another medium. There are Graphic novels written by Kelly that tell the first 3 chapters of the story, the film only features the last 3 chapters.
But choices like this is why I not only like "Southland Tales" so much , but also why I have such a big respect for Richard Kelly. After Donnie Darko became a hit and Film Studios were throwing money at whatever he was going to make next, he didn't go the easy route and instead made one of the weirdest, most unique and most interesting films I've ever seen.