Oliver Stone's turns his new, hyper-kinetic style of filmmaking to the noir genre and the result is a muddled affair that only looks the more affected by the stylized photographic treatment. Perhaps Stone is looking for a comic edge to the material, but there simply are no laughs, just eccentric and strained characterizations.
Penn is low life drifter Bobby Cooper who pulls into Superior, Arizona, a dead-end desert
town, when his car breaks down. Cooper begins by antagonizing the garage mechanic and gets
appropriate service from the creepiest guy with a wrench you'll ever run into. Next case,
Cooper picks up a local hot number and promptly gets caught in the wrong place by her
husband. Shades of The Postman Always Rings Twice, and then he hangs out on Main Street
with a blind, drunken Indian mystic who apparently is on hand to comment on the action,
but doesn't do much of anything. All the elements come crashing together in preposterous
fashion. Stone's noir mine is played out and played with too much.