Natural Born Killers

Rated R 118 minutes 1994

Writer-director Oliver Stone lets it all hang out, including common sense, in this freewheeling, heavy-handed music-video-style satire (1994) about a young couple on the run (Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis) who rack up 50 corpses for the fun of it and then spearhead a prison revolt after they're arrested, all with the lip-smacking encouragement of the sleazy media, not to mention Stone himself. The characters are (perhaps deliberately) cut from the thinnest cardboard, while the style is an unbridled smorgasbord of 35-millimeter, 16-millimeter, Super-8, video, animation, and rear projection, raggedly edited and goonishly overacted by everyone involved (including Robert Downey Jr. with an Australian accent, Tommy Lee Jones, Tom Sizemore, and Rodney Dangerfield, who's featured in a wild sitcom parody that provides some of the film's more inventive moments). The show-offy psychedelic manner may keep you interested, just as the sex and violence may keep you titillated—unless, like me, you feel you've seen it all before, in which case you'll be bored out of your skull. Written with David Veloz and Richard Rutowski, the script is said to be based on a story by Quentin Tarantino—which means that a Tarantino script has been both figuratively and literally stoned beyond all recognition.

Film Credits

Director: Oliver Stone

Producer: Jane Hamsher, Arnon Milchan, Thom Mount, Don Murphy and Clayton Townsend

Cast: Woody Harrelson, Juliette Lewis, Robert Downey Jr., Tommy Jones, Tom Sizemore, Rodney Dangerfield, Russell Means, Edie McClurg, Balthazar Getty, Joe Grifasi and O-Lan Jones

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