Richard Kelly showed us that Donnie Darko might’ve been the fluke to end all flukes with this bloated, nonsensical, all-star freak show that makes us think that producer Drew Barrymore might’ve had a lot more to do with Darko‘s success than we realized. Drew’s not guiding Kelly’s mad vision with her groovy flower power this time around; here, he’s on his own as he bombards us with random weirdness that gets really old really, really fast. Southland Tales takes place on July 4, 2008 in an alternate universe where the United States has suffered greatly from a nuclear war that broke out three years earlier and wiped out most of Texas; now, Los Angeles is on the verge of political, financial and environmental collapse, with the individual destinies of an amnesiac action star (Dwayne Johnson), a porn star trying to reinvent herself as a TV personality (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and twin brothers — one a police officer, the other a soldier (both played by Seann William Scott) — all interconnecting to determine the fate of the very universe itself. Add to this an extended musical sequence where Justin Timberlake lip-synchs to The Killers’ “All These Things That I’ve Done,” a Marxist underground threatening to overthrow the federal government and a new form of energy made from seawater called “Fluid Karma” and you’ve got‚ well, we have no friggin’ idea, actually.
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