Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.
USA, 1991. Bill Graham Films, Carolco International N.V., Carolco Pictures, Imagine Entertainment, Ixtlan. Screenplay by Randall Johnson, Oliver Stone. Cinematography by Robert Richardson. Produced by Bill Graham, Sasha Harari, A. Kitman Ho. Production Design by Barbara Ling. Costume Design by Marlene Stewart. Film Editing by David Brenner, Joe Hutshing.
Oliver Stone turns from his Vietnam war epics to film the tale of The Doors’ lead musician Jim Morrison, an enigmatic rock icon who died young of a drug overdose. Val Kilmer‘s fearless portrayal of Morrison (not to mention his remarkable resemblance) is the film’s main attraction, while the rest is an overproduced mind-melt that goes in for too many scenes of drug hallucinations and spiritual explorations. Such extravagance might be true to Morrison’s actual life experience, but there were probably other times when he did perfectly normal things like eat breakfast or call a friend on the telephone, and the lack of anything so personable makes this biography feel distant and pretentious. Kilmer does his own singing, live on set, and does it extremely well, while a great deal of the rest of the cast, from Meg Ryan as his girlfriend to Kyle MacLachlan as fellow bandmember Ray Manzarek and Kathleen Quinlan as the Wiccan witch who was his last companion before he died, are all sorely miscast. Stone once again manages to tell a story with all the subtlety of a prairie tornado.