When New York radio DJ Jack Lucas (Jeff Bridges) accidentally drives a listener to mass murder, his confidence and career crumble. Three years later he is saved from suicide by the deranged Perry (Robin Williams), a derelict who insists that the Holy Grail is hidden somewhere in Manhattan.
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Jeff Bridges and Robin Williams are explosive and nothing short of brilliant here. This is a harsh and heartwarming film that shows in the end all you really need is people to get by because we are connected in some way and we all have a profound effect on each other.
It's easy to see Gilliam was out to prove his financial viability after Munchausen, and the result is part brilliant fairy tale, part wrongheaded indulgence, and part faceless hokum. But there's richer ideas here than I remembered, particularly about how people connect to media. Sad realization #1: video stores already look ancient. Sad realization #2: if Gilliam made a movie this good today, we'd throw him a parade.
Hard to balance Arthurian legend, a clean redemption narrative amidst the glass towers of a Manhattan emerging from the 80s, fey fairytale fantasia, and the full-fathom-five scale of Terry Gilliam world-modeling and Robin Williams performance spectacle. But here it is, decidedly successful. The clean redemption narrative is the messy part, but also the core of any real payoff. Could have been sentimental hemlock.
2 1/2 out of 5 stars. Badly dated, incredibly disappointing & about a half hour too long. Jeff Bridges' performance was too much even if Robin Williams was well-cast. Gilliam's style got me through even if was out of place here & this wasn't the project for him. Michael Jeter's Ethyl Merman singing telegram was easily the highlight of the movie, not to mention one of the greatest things I've seen in my life.
I love Gilliam's touch on what could have otherwise been a very on-the-nose and melodramatic piece. His flourishes give the actors and the story the allowance to be slightly bigger than life and yet all is done in moderation.
That and I'll watch Jeff Bridges in anything.