They say all you need for a good doc is a fun story and fascinating people. Stanley's sober and well-articulated account of hexing studio executives, Mahow womanizing the crew, Kilmer's gravity-defying ego, and Brando's hallucinogenic insistence to rewrite the script so he could have a dolphin grafted to his head proves that even bad films are miracles.
While not as entertaining as some of the more wild tales about this legendary fiasco this documentary sheds some light on the production of what finished up as a classic 'bad' movie. Unfortunately the experience seems to have destroyed Stanley who made one of the most remarkable debuts of the nineties (Hardware) and a compromised 2nd feature (Dust Devil) but has now faded to oblivion. Yes Brando was f..in with them.
Cool story, but not very inspired as its own film. Stanley is an interesting character, and the momentum of the film flags noticeably when he exits the story. I did enjoy that the film didn't pull its punches trash talking Brando, Kilmer, Frankenheimer and the whole Hollywood apparatus, something more aesthetically interesting than talking heads interviews and still photos is needed to make the film itself compelling
Obviously if a young, decidedly-odd visionary like Richard Stanley is going to pursue adapting an H.G. Wells novel contingent upon the participation of Marlon Brando for a fledgling majorish studio in Clinton's corporate America, someday a pretty head-scratching if decidedly amusing documentary is going to emerge. This is that documentary, God bless it. David Thewlis, strangely, is not even mentioned once. Lawyers?
Arguably more successful than "Jodorowsky's Dune," this documentary manages to chart the dissolution of what could have, by all rights, been a stellar 90's genre film, as well as the increasingly irrational behavior of Hollywood actors that no doubt contributed to the end of the star system. At the heart of it all is Richard Stanley, a filmmaker who seems to fluctuate between visionary and entirely out of his depth.