Southland Tales (15)

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The Independent Culture

They've left it late, but writer-director Richard Kelly (Donnie Darko) and his team have gone and scooped The Independent's Worst Film of 2007 award against stiff competition, too. This isn't one of those so-bad-it's-good numbers that will acquire cult status once the stink dies down it is insanely and insufferably boring for all time.

A dystopian vision of LA circa 2008, it brings together an amnesiac actor (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson), a cop (Seann William Scott) and a porn star (Sarah Michelle Gellar) on a reality-TV project; meanwhile, authoritarian think-tank US-Ident is cracking down on civil liberties, and the end of the world is fast approaching. Faster, it seems, than the end of this film, which snails to a 145 minutes before finally crawling off the screen.

This is the other side of Robert Redford's Lions for Lambs, and prompts the question what's worse, Hollywood being earnest about the War on Terror, or being whimsical-satirical about it like this? A louse and a flea would make a cheerier pair of alternatives. Apparently, the original cut of this film, seen at Cannes last year, is even worse, which must have taken some doing. This isn't just a car-crash of a movie, it's a colossal, multi-vehicle, three-lane pile-up.

[Trailer subject to copyright]