The Brown Bunny (2003)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Road Movie, Erotic Drama, Psychological Drama  |   Release Date - Aug 27, 2004 (USA - Limited)  |   Run Time - 93 min.  |   Countries - USA  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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If there's one thing that can be gleaned from The Brown Bunny, it's that Vincent Gallo is a damn considerate turn-signaler. For all but a small fraction of the film's 92 minutes, Gallo -- the film's director, cinematographer, star, and purported writer (as if this mostly wordless opus required a script) -- fuels up, buckles up, accelerates, decelerates, passes cars, changes lanes, changes shirts, brakes gently, and mellows out to the sounds of Gordon Lightfoot on the in-dash stereo, not with the nihilist abandon that befits an enfant terrible but with all the reserve and decorum of an AARP booster. Forget what you've read about Gallo's rock-star girlfriends, his cancer vendettas on critics who dis his film, or even the hardcore sex act administered in the film's final moments. What you will learn from The Brown Bunny is that Vincent Gallo is a great driver. Whether or not he's a natural-born filmmaker is still up for debate. With Gallo calling -- not to mention costuming, designing, cutting, and shooting -- every shot, The Brown Bunny ends up being an out-of-focus road trip to nowhere, an exercise in monotony with a Sixth Sense coda. It must be said the film accurately conveys the wonder and boredom of cross-country driving, with all its gorgeous, bleary vistas and splattered bugs on the windshield. Unfortunately, Gallo has to go and muck up his abstract art-school experiment with such narrative-filmmaking clichés as the loveless lone wolf, the tragic backstory, and the empty titular metaphor. And when the film's raison d'être is finally revealed to be little more than a this-is-your-girlfriend-on-drugs cautionary tale, even the most conservative viewers will no doubt balk at the simplicity of the message.