I'm not the biggest believer in the psychological validity of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), but Oliver Stone sure does seem to be a good test case as he develops bad editing into an art form. "Natural Born Killers" was the first of his films made solely for the purpose of forcing people to go out and buy the CLV laserdisc and scan in slow motion so they could figure out what was going on. "U-Turn" is about the same. For his next project, Oliver plans to film an entire movie while jumping up and down on a trampoline.
Apparently, "U-Turn" was some kind of experiment. Stone wanted to prove -- during a time of escalating budgets -- that a movie with big stars could be made for a modest price (if you call twenty million modest). Well, in some perverted film-financial sense, you get what you pay for.
All the people in this film are such caricatures that dropping a bomb on the town of Superior, Arizona would have had all the emotional resonance of a Jimmy Swaggart confessional. Bobby Cooper (Sean Penn) is on his way to Las Vegas to pay a gambling debt when his car breaks down. He takes it to Darrell (Billy Bob Thornton) thinking he'll fix it, then wanders into town, where he promptly gets sidetracked by the sight of Grace McKenna (Jennifer Lopez). Sooner than he can say huevos rancheros, he's caught up in a murder plot involving Grace, her husband (Nick Nolte), and a few other actors making cameo appearances in one capacity or another.
Basically, the twenty million dollars and the genre give Stone a perfect excuse for making another bad film. I can imagine him saying something like "We were all limited by our resources...." This would be in character, since Stone's films prove he's not much of a filmmaker, but he sure is a good bullshit artist.
To spread the word about this U-Turn review on Twitter.To get instant updates of Mr. Cranky reviews, subscribe to our RSS feed.