Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Walker

Woody Harrelson claimed he would not do publicity for this film because he was unhappy with his performance which in my mind was a polite way of him saying "boy howdy this is one bad film".

It is and it shouldn't be.

I had to watch it half a dozen time to figure out where the great Paul Schrader went wrong and the best I can come up with is THE WALKER would have been just fine if it had been made and released in the early '80s. It's along the lines of the problem many have when they rewatch Brian De Palma's remake of SCARFACE. Great film but it is as firmly rooted in 1983 as MIAMI VICE and thus supremely dated. With THE WALKER, Schrader is dealing with modern related events but he presents it in the same manner as AMERICAN GIGOLO or CAT PEOPLE and the result is one friggin' mighty boring film and a sadly wasted all-star cast. Serious, the star power here is off the chart. Besides Harrelson, who IS GREAT as the gay male lead here, we have Kristin Scott Thomas who delivers easily the worst performance of her life, Lauren Bacall who has but a moment to shine, Lily Tomlin in a serious role who does not get a single laugh and Willem DaFoe in a cameo that just screams "hurry up and get me the fuck out of here". That cameo by the way happens to be for a major character! Strangely enough, while everybody but Harrelson flounders, Ned Beatty stepped up to the plate and smacked off a home run with his part and fans of The Ned may want to sit through this ONLY because of him. As for everybody else, other than film students who should see this for, if nothing else, discussion purposes, keep walking as there really isn't much to concern you here.


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