.

U Turn

Sean Penn, Jennifer Lopez, Nick Nolte

Directed by Oliver Stone
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 0
Community: star rating
5 0 0
October 3, 1997

Here's something different in an Oliver Stone film: laughs. Bitter, bruising laughs, yes, but it's humor, not politics, driving the plot. The film was adapted by John Ridley from his novel Stray Dogs, but this is Stone's view of humans as greedy, lustful, natural-born killers.

Sean Penn is wicket fun as Bobby Cooper, a stranger who rides his Mustang -- the car, not the horse -- into the desert town of Superior, Ariz. Not on purpose -- his radiator hose is busted. Bobby needs to get to Vegas to pay off the Russian gamblers who have already chopped off two of his fingers as a down payment.

Enter the usual suspects: Darrell, a nut-job mechanic, hilariously dead-panned by Billy Bob Thornton; Grace (Jennifer Lopez), the babe who takes Bobby home for a quickie; and Jake (Nick Nolte), Grace's husband, who cold-cocks Bobby and then offers him a deal to kill Grace. Others include a crooked sheriff (Powers Boothe), a cagey blind man (Jon Voight), and a teen nympho (Claire Danes) and her shortfused lover boy (Joaquin Phoenix).

Ridley's dialogue crackles nicely until Stone shifts into overdrive. Some directors, such as John Dahl (Red Rock West), heighten brutality by showing you less. Not Stone, who is congenitally in your face. We see an old lady blow away a thief with a shotgun, a father fuck his daughter doggie style and a blood-dripping ax murder. For sex, we watch Bobby jerk off behind a tree after Grace makes him pull out before his orgasm. Stoneisn't one for the sweet mysteries of life. "Is everybody in this town on drugs?" asks Bobby, who comes to believe that all the characters are conspiring against him. Hmm. Maybe U-Turn isn't such a different Stone film after all.

prev
Movie Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    More Reviews »
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Santa Monica”

    Everclear | 1996

    After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com