HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Moonchild
Verite, La
Guilty, The
Stranger in the House
Redcon-1
G.G. Passion
Chien Andalou, Un
Boar
Bulldog Drummond
First Man
Machete Maidens Unleashed!
Cannibal Club, The
Grasshopper, The
Searching
Human Desire
Climax
Stiff Upper Lips
American Animals
Outlaws
Venom
World on a Wire
Velvet Buzzsaw
Picnic
Dick Dickman, PI
Hunter Killer
30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock, The
Race for the Yankee Zephyr
Boys in the Band, The
Brainscan
T-Men
   
 
Newest Articles
He-Maniacs: Ridiculous 80s Action
All's Welles That Ends Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 1 on DVD
Shut It! The Sweeney Double Bill: Two Blu-rays from Network
Network Sitcom Movie Double Bill: Till Death Us Do Part and Man About the House on Blu-ray
No, THIS Must Be the Place: True Stories on Blu-ray
Alf Garnett's Life After Death: Till Death... and The Thoughts of Chairman Alf on DVD
Balance of Power: Harold Pinter at the BBC on DVD
Strange Days 2: The Second Science Fiction Weirdness Wave
Strange Days: When Science Fiction Went Weird
Ha Ha Haaargh: Interview With Camp Death III in 2D! Director Matt Frame
Phone Freak: When a Stranger Calls on Blu-ray
A Name to Conjure With: David Nixon's Magic Box on DVD
Which 1950s Sci-Fi was Scariest? Invaders from Mars vs The Blob
The Empire Strikes Back: Khartoum vs Carry On Up the Khyber
Stan and Ollie's Final Folly: Atoll K on Blu-ray
   
 
  Less Than Zero White LinesBuy this film here.
Year: 1987
Director: Marek Kanievska
Stars: Andrew McCarthy, Jami Gertz, Robert Downey Jr, James Spader, Tony Bill, Nicholas Pryor, Donna Mitchel, Michael Bowen, Sarah Buxton, Lisanne Fal
Genre: Drama, Sex
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: Long before Mary Harron and Roger Avary attempted to bring Bret Easton Ellis’s nihilistic tales of privileged debauchery to the screen in American Psycho and The Rules of Attraction, director Marek Kanievska and scriptwriter Harley Peyton tackled Ellis’s debut novel. Taking Brat-pack stars Andrew McCarthy, James Spader, Robert Downey Jr and Jami Gertz (fresh from teen fair like Pretty In Pink and The Lost Boys) and sticking them in Ellis’s world of drugs, booze and seedy sex might have seemed shocking in 1987, but today it’s all a little tame, almost prudish. And no matter how many drugs Downey Jr guzzles during the course of film, it’s nothing compared to what he was to get up to in his private life.

Clay (McCarthy), Blair (Gertz) and Julian (Downey Jr) are a trio of well-off LA friends who graduate from college full of hopes and dreams for the future. But within months it’s all gone sour – Blair has dumped Clay for Julian, and Julian is getting further and further into debt with suave drug dealer Rip (James Spader). When Julian returns from college for Christmas, he finds Blair eager to rekindle their friendship, and Julian’s life in serious danger from both Rip and the drugs he’s consuming.

Less Than Zero has style to burn – cinematographer Ed Lachman captures these characters' empty lives with shimmering lighting and steely blue filters, the gliding camerawork and clinically white set design creating a distant, emotionally cold tone. But that’s also part of the problem – you don’t feel much sympathy for anyone, nor do you really get the impression that they really care that much for each other. Their cocaine problems are a direct result of their privileged upbringing and the money they have to waste, and unlike James Van Der Beek’s character in the thematically-similar Rules of Attraction, we never get to see the real people behind the flashy exteriors.

It’s not helped by the variable quality of the performances. Robert Downey Jr and James Spader are convincingly fucked-up and slickly menacing respectively, but McCarthy and in particular Gertz struggle with the more dramatic material. True, their characters are less interesting than Julian or Rip, but it’s not hard to see why they were quickly eclipsed by Downey Jr and Spader in terms of roles and celebrity.

No era has dated quicker than the 1980s, and that gaudy, shallow, coke-addled decade proves a perfect setting for Ellis’s tale. Nevertheless, the passage of time has blunted its edge, making it more a hollow curiosity than the searing drama it wants to be.
Reviewer: Daniel Auty

 

This review has been viewed 8601 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Marek Kanievska  (1952 - )

British-born director who began working in UK TV before making the acclaimed drama Another Country in 1984. The Bret Easton Ellis adaptation Less Than Zero followed, but it would be another 13 years before Kanievska’s third film, Where The Money Is. A Different Loyalty, with Sharon Stone and Rupert Everett, was released in 2004.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
George White
Enoch Sneed
Stately Wayne Manor
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
   

 

Last Updated: