Limbo (1999)

"Unbearable"

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

Zoolander 2 Movie Review

Zoolander 2 Movie Review

With virtually the same blend of wit and idiocy as the 2001 original, this fashion-scene...

A Bigger Splash Movie Review

A Bigger Splash Movie Review

Italian filmmaker Luca Guadagnino (I Am Love) reteams with Tilda Swinton for this fresh, tricky...

Deadpool Movie Review

Deadpool Movie Review

Both the filmmakers and the characters on-screen are so pleased with themselves that this might...

Trumbo Movie Review

Trumbo Movie Review

An entertaining film about sobering true events, this is the story of notorious screenwriter Dalton...

Goosebumps Movie Review

Goosebumps Movie Review

Mixing the action, comedy and horror from novelist R.L. Stein's books into a family-friendly package,...

Dad's Army Movie Review

Dad's Army Movie Review

The beloved 1970s British sit-com gets the big screen treatment, although there's been very little...

Spotlight Movie Review

Spotlight Movie Review

This film demonstrates that you don't need guns to make an exciting thriller. Based on...

Advertisement
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Movie Review

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Movie Review

Not the subtlest director working in Hollywood, Michael Bay brings his surging machismo to this...

Dirty Grandpa Movie Review

Dirty Grandpa Movie Review

There's nothing clever about this deliberately rude and vulgar comedy, but certain audiences will find...

The Big Short Movie Review

The Big Short Movie Review

Smart and snappy, this comedy is one of the scariest films of the year, using...

The 5th Wave Movie Review

The 5th Wave Movie Review

Also based on the first in a trilogy of post-apocalyptic teen novels, this thriller feels...

Ride Along 2 Movie Review

Ride Along 2 Movie Review

Ice Cube and Kevin Hart reteam for a sequel no one really asked for, following...

Room Movie Review

Room Movie Review

One of the most extraordinary films of the year, this drama cleverly weaves in events...

Creed Movie Review

Creed Movie Review

While this film is basically Rocky VII, it's also much more than that, and perhaps...

A Perfect Day Movie Review

A Perfect Day Movie Review

An irreverent comedy in the style of the original M.A.S.H., this wartime romp takes an...

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.