The Doors Reviews
"The Ultimate Story of Sex, Drugs & Rock 'N' Roll"
The Doors is about the best movie I could imagine being made about Jim Morrison and The Doors. Although the film may be named The Doors; it would probably make more sense if it were titled Jim Morrison, because that's really what this film is about. The sad fact is that Jim Morrison was The Doors and although the other three had amazing talent, they always seemed to be left in the shadow of Morrison. This film captures that aspect of the band extremely well.
Oliver Stone attacks the story of Jim Morrison as he would any other story, with the most controversial topics that came up in Morrison's life. Although with Morrison as his subject, it really wasn't too hard to find controversy. Whether it be Morrison experimenting with acid and peyote, getting black out drunk, screwing every girl that came to his concerts, rebelling against authority, or possibly showing his privates at a concert; Jim Morrison is controversy.
Val Kilmer as Jim Morrison makes complete sense. Kilmer looks the part and when I say that, I mean it. He looks like Jim Morrison in a way I've only seen from one other biopic and that was Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny Cash in Walk the Line. Kilmer does do a good job in a very complicated and difficult role. The supporting cast fills in around him nicely as well.
The Doors is a movie I really enjoyed as a Doors fan. I also love how Oliver Stone created the perfect drug infused, alcoholic, opinionated atmosphere that I would have to believe surrounded Morrison his whole life. If you're a fan of The Doors, this is an absolute must watch. For everyone else, it may still be worth a look, as it is a great music biopic.
As I understand it from others, the story was told from a biased point of view. I am a fan of The Doors, but not so much that I know whether or not this is true.
Entertaining, insightfuly, this is Sex, Drugs & Rock 'n' roll without a doubt.
As I said, Oliver Stone's big trademark is his hyper-stylized and unconventional storytelling that throws you, sometimes a little too far, into the story, much like a meditative film does, but where those films were your just your run-of-the-mill movies, only with a good couple of new tricks, this is Stone's "actual" meditative film. It's not as hyper-stylized as some of his other work, though it is stylized art, and it's art that prevails as first priorty in Stone's direction, leaving storytelling to find itself crafted into some kind of meditation. That's cool and all, but, as I've said time and again, meditative storytelling is heavily flawed, drying up the story to the point of making it slow and rather pretentious, as it, seemingly in an unpreventable manner, wears its being unconvential on its sleeve by sacrificing some key notes in traditional storytelling, like development and some later exposition. Well, sure enough, this film, out of the gate, fails - nay - neglects to give us insight into the actual aura and purpose of our characters, and as things progress, exposition feels like an afterthought, leaving the film disjointed and also kind of confusing in a way. Still, while meditative storytelling is something that we see too often, no one really has that type of extremely distinct style that Oliver Stone has that fits this subject matter so startlingly perfectly, it's unreal, though still to a fault, because with all of this over-meditation over substance, after a while, you just have to wonder what in the world this film's point is. Of course, then you just realize that it doesn't really serve much more of a purpose outside of fulfilling Oliver Stone's destiny to make a film about The Doors, because although someone could definately do it better, virtually no one else could fit the bill more. However, while that only taints the film - seeing as the subject matter is so specifically designed for Oliver Stone to the point of only being tainted by his all-too fitting overstyle -, it is, at the same time, why the film is still rather rewarding, which isn't to say that it stood too major of a chance of descending to mediocrity or even lower, though it is to say that for everything that the film boasts what is wrong with Oliver Stone, it boasts volumes what is good about good ol' Stoned Stone.
To be perfectly honest, The Doors was pretty blasted far from the greatest classic acid rock band, though it still put out some pretty good hits, and enough to make for a strong soundtrack that's both enjoyable to hear in this film and actually fits its tone, just as much as it fit the band's tone. Something just as fitting is, of course, Robert Richardson's cinematography, which is as stunning as it always is, especially in the Oliver Stone films, but also feels more fitting than ever, as its lush glow, bouncing color and sweeping, sometimes dizzying staging catches your eye and really brings the film's themes to life brilliantly, adding to its surrealism and emphasizing the tone of the film to a level that's relatable to the point of sucking you in and creating an immersive experience. Still, calm down kids, because watching this doesn't really get you high, but not for lack of trying, because although its meditative, surrealistic stylistic choices only hurt it as a film, being so fitting to the point of being overbearing, it still fits this subject matter like a glove while still really captivating you, leaving for you stick with the film, more often than not. Sure, Stone is a little bit too perfect to be making a film like this, and the film is left weaker than it should be because of it, but if someone had the guts to take on a biopic about The Doors and still make it this meditative, chances are, it would fall flat even harder, because, at the end of the day, Stone has such a deep understanding of this subject matter and how to execute it that the final product comes out as heavily flawed, but still enjoyable, because it's so very fitting, and with a fair deal of golden moments that grow more and more prominent as the film progresses. Sure, like just about every other Oliver Stone biopic, it's dubious as all get-out from a story point of view, yet as far as capturing the subject and its compenents in a highly believable fashion, whether it be during the moments of known fact or likely fiction, and his performers really help with that believability. Most of the performers don't just look their parts, but really know how to embody them, as well, with Val Kilmer, like the actual Jim Morrison, recieving almost all of the attention, and rightfully so. Kilmer nails Morrison's charismatic and very trippy presence as a visionary, a talent, a strange rebel and a human, flawed and strong, and does it all with a transformative presence that further sells you on Morrison's strengths and, especially, his flaws, making a compelling lead that neither earns too much of your affection, nor too much of your disdain, only investment in him as a human.
At the end of the trip, Oliver Stone seems a little bit - nay - way too fitting for a film of this type, maybe not pumping it with superfluous ultra-style, but still too much style to the point of tainting development, exposition and general storytelling with an overly meditative and rather pretentious aura that holds back the final product; and yet, it's also that very style that helps make the film as good as it is, as it fills it with stunning, gripping imagery and tones that fit the themes of the film perfectly, uniquely and authentically, with across-the-board sharp, charismatic and transformative performances - particularly that of Val Kilmer - intensifying the gripping tone that ultimately leaves "The Doors" to stand as a generally fascinating, trippy and immersive meditative study on the rise and fall of the revolutionary classic band, as well as its notorious frontman.
3/5 - Good