Natural Born Killers Reviews
It was somewhat inspired by the story of Charles Starkweather, whose life also influenced Terrence Malick's debut Badlands. Loosely based on a story by Quentin Tarantino, what we get here is the saga of Mickey and Mallory Knox- a pair of mass murderers who rampage across the American Southwest before getting imprisoned, where they somehow still manage to get their (violent) kicks. All the while the media hones in on them, making them out to be veritable folk heroes, with the main media figure being slimy Aussie television journalist Wayne Gale. On the other side of the story are determined detective Jack Scagnetti who is almost as psychos as the people he's after, and prison warden Dwight McClusky who just relishes the idea of being able to bring Mickey and Mallory to the reaper.
This is a wild, sometimes messy, and always over the top film that is all over the place, but definitely makes an impression. It's kinda hard to pin this film down, but, even if you don't agree with the message of how it's done, you can't deny that this film is worth seeing and discussing.
It's one of those bitter and scathing satires, but there's also a darkly comedic undercurrent going on. I'll admit that this is a disturbing film, but there is a point to it, and it's done with intelligence.
Woody Harrelson and and Juliette Lewis are terrific as Mickey and Mallory, Robert Downey Jr. is a delight as Wayne Gale, Tommy Lee Jones is a gloriously scenery chewing delight as Dwight McClusky, and Tom Sizemore is kidna scary as Scagnetti. This film also features Rodney Dangerfield's only dramatic turn as Mallory's sleazy abusive dad.
The film is shot almost exclusively in Dutch angles using a variety of formats including, color, black and white, animation, super 8, 16, and 35 mm film stocks, and a whole lot more. It's all done to add style, but also substance, and its all discussed by Stone at length on the commentary track. Or you could just read about it online if you'd prefer.
From a technical perspective, this film is a dizzying and ambitious marvel. It's perhaps pretentious, and naysayers will call it overbearing, but I think it's all part of the overall experience. The soundtrack is likewise suitably manic and eclectic, and one of my favorites.
All in all, this is a landmark of 90s cinema and a film you should definitely see.
The film directed by one of my new favourites, Oliver Stone, tells the story of Mickey and Mallory, played by Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis respectively. M and M are two psychopathic serial killers, actually they prefer mass murderers, who we follow through life with all their bloodbaths along the way.
Stone however is less interested in the violence, but the causes of their violence. Through a combination of drugged up sequences, flashbacks in the style of 70s sitcoms and the strangest combination of storytelling I've ever seen.
Putting aside the content for a moment, the acting alone on 'Natural Born Killers' stands out as some of the finest, in an extremely over the top way. Stone breaks with his serious masterpieces such as 'Platoon' and 'Wall Street', choosing cheesy, yet powerful over the top acting. Harrelson and Lewis perform admirably, but it's Robert Downey Junior's turn as Australian TV host Wayne Gale, and Tommy Lee Jones role as the prison warden which really take the cake. Both Downey Jr and Jones create the strangest characters with layers overlapping and breaking through the surface. They make you laugh, they make you cry.
But aside from the acting the rest of the film gives me mixed impressions. The cinematography is impressive but constructed in such a deliberately comic fashion that it gets on my nerves eventually. The storyline seems to be ever so slightly pointless and the message blurred by the violence.
I expected a more hardened opinion a few days after I watched it and the film earned perspective. Instead I am left unsure what to think and for that reason I give it two and a half stars, halfway good, halfway bad, unsure whether 'Natural Born Killers' is the masterpiece many make it out to be or just a plain disappointment.
"The Media Made Them Superstars."
Oliver Stone went way over the top to make his point with Natural Born Killers and I believe it worked. This experience is unlike any other film experience you have had. Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis bring Mickey and Mallory to life in such a way where it is hard to not cheer for them, and I assume that was the point. We always make the serial killers and the mass murders celebrities. We may not think of that way, but we do.
Until killers are caught in America, we read about them in newspaper, magazines and we hear about them on tv. Then they are caught, but it doesn't die there. We then watch their trial, talk about their body language, listen to interviews. Then they are sent to prison, but it still isn't done with. Then we have books written about them, movies made about them; television news programs go and do specials on the killer. It never ends until the killer dies, and even then they live on, like Elvis. And why? Because it is entertaining. Never have I been more aware of that then when watching Natural Born Killers.
That is pretty much what Natural Born Killers is getting at. Stone shows random things like hippies talking about how great Mickey and Mallory are. He shows us magazines with Mickeys face on the front cover. Killers are sold to us and we keep buying. Then there is the television show that turns them into full fledged stars and want to make television history by exploiting their story. This has all happened and it continues to happen.
Now I personally don't care if serial killers are getting a large amount of press. It's a natural human tendency to be entertained by violence. Throughout history, violence has always sold. It doesn't matter what time period you lived in or where you lived; violence was always talked about, written about or nowadays shown on television and in movies. That's never going to change. So as the saying goes, "If you can't beat em, join em."
I thought it was directed beautifully so well done to Oliver Stone, as this movie is very visually stunning and i found it very interesting to see the different contrasts of colour.
I must say Tommy Lee Jones was by far the best thing about this movie, he really (for me anyway) stole the show. His psychotic, crazed wardon was hilarious and just acted really well.
It is a good violent action packed movie but some people may find it to weird (visually) to be able to like this movie. Although the storyline was a bit rubbish it was very entertaining to watch.
Having watched this film countless times, it's a movie I could never get bored of. I enjoy Woody Harrelson as an Actor, but I could never have thought he could pull off a character like Mickey Knox, which of course he did so well, the chemistry, love and obsession between him and Juliette Lewis aka Mallory Knox was quite something.
This film has two parts to it, a 'before' they got caught for their killing spree and an 'after' they got caught. It portrayed a very deep connection between the two main characters, that could not be broken, whether together, seperated or facing death.
I love the story that the Shaman tells really sums up the whole film, it's theme and the characters.
The Style of the filming is probably something taken for granted now in these style films, but it's still impressive and sets this as a 90's style, for years to look back on.
I seem to find something different and new about this film each time I watch it, it's style is very creative, with almost subliminal messaging throughout, non-conventional ways of storytelling, switching visual colours for how things are seen through the killers eyes, the animal/human instinct, the causes behind the story and most probably the biggest part which is the celebrity status these mass murderers attract.