Limbo (1999)

"Terrible"

Limbo (1999) Review


Hurt. Used. Betrayed. Angry. Abused.

These are words that could be used to describe the emotions of John Sayles' characters in his latest, Limbo. But no, I use them to describe myself after sitting through his latest little exercise in indie egomania.

I can forgive many things. But using some hackneyed, whacked-out, screwed-up non-ending on a movie is unforgivable. I walked a half-mile in the rain and sat through two hours of typical, plodding Sayles melodrama to get cheated by a complete and total copout finale. Does Sayles think he's Roger Corman?

Maybe he does. Maybe the auteur has lost his mind at last.

Sadly, the bears do not get them.

Limbo is the story of a bunch of deadbeats in a small Alaskan town who pretty much have nothing to live for, but make a go of it anyway. These deadbeats include David Strathairn as Joe Gastineau, a washed-up fisherman, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as Donna, a washed-up singer, and Vanessa Martinez as Noelle, her freakish daughter.

Limbo begins as light comedy, with these characters lightheartedly interacting, and Joe and Donna slowly getting together as a couple. But an hour later, Joe, Donna, and Noelle decide to take a boat trip with Joe's deadbeat drug runner of a brother, Bobby, and all hell breaks loose, leaving them stranded on a cold and wet island off the coast of Alaska.

The movie then becomes The Edge by way of The Piano. As the trio tries to survive on nothing, we learn of this little issue of some men who may be looking for them. By the end, we've finally started to care (barely) about these characters, but only after 120 minutes of babbling and preaching. The moment of truth arrives. Roll credits.

Whoops. I'd give away the ending but I can't. There is nothing to give away because there is no ending. Ho ho, you're supposed to reflect on the movie and draw your own conclusions. We're left in "Limbo," get it? Screw that! Sayles is a hack of the worst sort. People deserve a little payoff after spending their cash and their time on a film. Our crowd would agree. I've never heard such booing in a theater in all my life.

I was going to give Limbo three stars. Even though it has fifteen minutes of a character reading aloud from a book. Even though my butt hurt like a nail went through it after sitting in an uncomfortable seat for so long. Like I said, I was going to give Limbo three stars for giving it the old college try.

Surprise, John, this is what you get: ONE STAR.



Facts and Figures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

The 2012 Canadian comedy Goon was one of those surprising little films that snuck up...

Detroit Movie Review

Detroit Movie Review

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to...

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Good news: Steven Soderbergh's well-publicised retirement from directing only lasted about four years. He's back...

American Made Movie Review

American Made Movie Review

An enjoyably freewheeling tone and Tom Cruise's star wattage combine to make this an entertaining...

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

Advertisement
The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.