Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me Movie Review

You can almost plot David Lynch's lunacy on a graph. From perfect form in 1990, with the original Twin Peaks TV show, to borderline schizophrenia with the second season in 1991, to absolute lunacy in 1992, with the prequel movie, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me.

Filled with non-sequitur imagery and symbolism, Fire ostensibly tells how Laura Palmer came to be wrapped in that sheet of plastic which so fatefully washed ashore in the first episode of the TV series. But Fire doesn't really tell any story at all. There are scenes of exposition, but these are sandwiched between the endless dream sequences, the lunatic characters (like the woman in red and the one-armed man) who appear and vanish just as suddenly, and bonus raunch added just for the purpose of titillating the audience.

Indeed, Sheryl Lee's Laura Palmer is portrayed here as a very Bad Girl, drunk, stoned, and/or naked throughout the film. Not to mention borderline insane, which helps to explain some of what you're seeing on screen. In fact, nearly everyone in the Twin Peaks universe seems to be insane, right down to the cops and the Feds (in fact, especially the Feds); it's a convincing explanation but hardly the most original premise -- the shades of gray in Twin Peaks the TV show have all become deepest black in Twin Peaks the movie. (That said, parts of the film -- in typical Lynchian fashion -- are completely gripping, and it has more than its fair share of truly scary scenes.)

A curious side note: An unquestionable bomb, Fire Walk with Me didn't do anything for the careers of its stars, either. The lone star to truly break out of the series was Lara Flynn Boyle, who didn't show for the movie (Moira Kelly took over the part). Heather Graham eventually moved on to stardom after Swingers, but her part here is so tiny it's hard to really count her among the cast.

Finally released on DVD -- Fire Walk with Me has been the most requested film in the New Line library -- Peakheads finally get their chance to deconstruct the film anew, and see how it stacks up to 10 years of memories. Lynch fans might be surprised to see how much it is mimicked by Mulholland Drive, another absurd study of debauchery without a terrible lot of point to it otherwise.

Comments

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me Rating

" Weak "

Rating: R, 1992

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