Val Kilmer (“The Salton Sea”) fails to manifest the eccentric character of notorious porn legend Johnny “Wadd” Holmes in this artful but unbalanced dramatization of the gruesome 1981 Laurel Canyon murders that Holmes was implicated in committing. Director/co-writer James Cox uses a “Rashomon” device of telling the story from different people’s perspective but lingers too long on the first character’s description to guide the narrative. Director of Photography Michael Grady and Editor Jeff McEvoy do captivating things with scene changes and different film stock that make the movie a visual smorgasbord. The collection of performances by Kate Bosworth, Dylan McDermott, Josh Lucas, Lisa Kudrow, and Eric Bogosian are sensational, but can’t compensate for Kilmer’s inadequate effort at capturing the drug addled man with the enormous… ego.
Rated R. 106 mins. (B-) (Three Stars)