Don’t Come Knocking (0/10)
by Tony Medley
This is the kind of movie
where you have to get up every two or three hours and walk around to get
the circulation flowing. I was lucky. I had brought some small candy
with me. I rationed them, promising myself one every ten minutes.
Howard Spence (Sam Shepard,
who also wrote the script) is a disaffected actor who runs out on a film
company to return to Butte, Montana for a little change of scene and to
reconnect with an old girl friend, Doreen (Jessica Lange), after his
mother (Eva Marie Saint) in Nevada tells him he has a son. Howard had
run away from his mother around three decades earlier and she’s not
heard a word from him, but she welcomes him with open arms and then
doesn’t even shed a tear when he leaves. In fact, she gives him her only
car (“I can walk to the store,”) which he takes without a moment’s
remorse. Howard is a self involved jerk. But he must inherit it from his
mother who takes Howard’s return and redeparture with a lack of emotion
that is remarkable.
Lange gives probably the
worst performance of her career. Whether it’s due to the banal lines
she’s given by Shepard to utter, or the dismal direction (Wim Wenders)
she’s committed to follow, or just a failure of talent is hard to tell.
This film has all of the above.
All the while Howard is
wandering, he is being chased by a private detective, Sutter (Tim Roth),
who wants to capture him to bring him back to finish the film.
Amazingly, the film company has remained on location throughout the
entirety of this film, even without its star.
The soliloquy that his
apparent daughter, Sky (Sarah Polley), gives near the end is so bromidic
one has to hand it to Ms. Polley for actually mouthing the lines without
breaking out in laughter. In the end (and the end does finally come,
although one wonders if it will ever get anywhere), who cares?
The original advertised
running time was 122 minutes. Someone with common sense must have gotten
at it with scissors because it ended at 105 minutes, which was still
about 100 minutes too long.
February 15, 2006