Serial killers Mickey (Woody Harrelson) and Mallory (Juliette Lewis) Knox are turned into folk heroes by media excesses in this striking movie that was publicly disowned by original story author Quentin Tarantino after it was largely rewritten by director Oliver Stone and others.
The psychopathic lovers set out on a violent cross-country murder spree and become macabre media celebrities when the unrepentant Mickey announces that they are “natural born killers”.
Ambitious, unrelenting and inventive, Stone’s controversial landmark film excites the intellect while bludgeoning the senses.
It blends naturalistic violence with stylised visuals and commandeers every available cinematic trick, plus the TV sitcom format (featuring Rodney Dangerfield as Mallory’s sexually abusive father, a slobbering take on Archie Bunker as a sex pervert), to put across its searing message.
That we’re rooting for the anti-heroes is as down to the leads’ charismatic turns as it is the repugnance afforded those in authority, not least Tom Sizemore’s loathsome detective, Scagnetti.
Stone utilises a dazzling range of techniques to underscore the media’s obsession with violent crime and delivers one of the most arrestingly provocative additions to the debate since A Clockwork Orange (1971).
Love it or hate it, this all-out image assault is a unique if disturbing experience.
Robert Downey Jr
Tommy Lee Jones
Gas station attendant