Limits of Control

Even the great ones hit snags. With The Limits of Control, Jim Jarmsuch gets tangled up in his own deadpan. I'd explain a little of the plot, but there isn't any. Just the stoic visage of Isaach De Bankolé as a nameless hitman who wanders through non-touristy Spain (shot with a poet's eye by the masterful Christopher Doye) doing meet-and-greets with terrific actors, such as Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Gael Garcia Bernal and John Hurt. They don't act, really. They strike poses. But it's a kick just to watch Swinton swanning around in a cheap white wig that makes her look like Jarmusch or a maybe daughter of Lee Marvin. When the hitman just stares at her, she expounds on Orson Welles' The Lady From Shanghai, another treatise on cinematic abstraction. Jarmusch is the antidote to everything Fast and Furious in Hollywood. His metaphysical journey across the border of life and death (laugh softly, Jarmusch wouldn't mind) may cause permanent harm to audiences drawn to Hannah Montana: The Movie. For that reason, at least, it is recommended.

(Get more news and reviews from Peter Travers on his blog, the Travers Take)

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