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Media Mad

Combine TV, killing and crowds, and what do you have? Oliver Stone

As is often the case with Stone, high-minded density is the order of the day. His story develops only because of his characters' stupidity. In a sin against verisimilitude, Mickey is unshackled during his television interview, something that makes it easy to predict what turn the live broadcast will take. Stone might argue that in this obviously hyperbolic film such niceties of detail don't hold, but it's not an argument I'd agree with.

In an attempt to praise Natural Born Killers, some critics have evoked Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange. Such an age-defining film might have been Stone's intention, but Kubrick's nightmare continues to chill exactly because it feels so real; real enough to be unpredictable. That's not a word you'd use to describe Oliver Stone. In any event, the real Clockwork Orange gets played out every day on television. And it would take an artist considerably more clever than Oliver Stone to outwit the news.

Natural Born Killers.
Directed by Oliver Stone. With Woody Harrelson, Juliette Lewis, Rodney Dangerfield, Tommy Lee Jones and Robert Downey Jr.

Rated R.

120 minutes.

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