Lone Star

Bomb Rating: 

Independent director John Sayles' "Lone Star" may be the closest thing to a tolerable movie this year.

Nevertheless, that didn't stop me from waking up in the middle of the night screaming from the nightmare it spawned: There I was, sitting all by myself in a darkened movie theater watching some unknown film when Sayles came running out of the screen yelling, "You want a metaphor? Have I got a #$%$#% metaphor for you!" In his hands, he carried a huge, bloody bat with the words "Metaphor Slugger" emblazoned across it.

In the Texas border town of Frontera, Sheriff Sam Deeds (Chris Cooper) is sticking his nose where it doesn't belong. He is investigating a thirty-year-old murder, even though he knows that the murderer might have been his father, legendary lawman Buddy Deeds (Matthew McOnaughey), and that the victim may have been then-Sheriff Charley Wade (Kris Kristofferson).

Here, the runaway train of metaphors begins. There's one about an Indian sticking his head in a box only to have it nearly bitten by a rattlesnake. There's something about a weightlifter. There's something about the NFL Draft. Sam Deeds keeps asking simple questions and getting complicated answers in return. As Sam sticks his nose in things, the audience is ruthlessly pelted with metaphors about what happens to people who stick their nose in things.

Thus, the challenge of watching "Lone Star" is to field the onslaught wrought by Sayles's "Metaphor Slugger." Get hit with it too many times and you might not survive. Duck too many times and it's hard to follow the film.

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