In Lost Highway, reality has become a dream. But Lynch has forgotten how boring it is listening to someone else's dream.
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The film actually deserves four stars for its imaginative style and astonishing suspense, zero stars for its shameless exploitation of violent shocks and loveless sensuality.
Lost Highway, an elaborate hallucination that could never be mistaken for the work of anyone else, finds Mr. Lynch echoing the perversity of "Blue Velvet," the earlier film of his that this most closely resembles.
Properly speaking, this isn't a movie with characters but with figures, each of them as overblown as a plastic inner tube.
It's a soulless and dull bit of showmanship, but it sure sounds profound.
Lynch, who penned the screenplay with novelist Barry Gifford (Wild at Heart), seems to be attempting to capture not just a sense of place and time (it never works -- Lost Highway is wholly, irrevocably, out of place and without any linear time or time line to speak of), but also a sense of madness.
David Lynch's eye-popping imagery is buried under an avalanche of self-indulgence.
It's a shaggy ghost story, an exercise in style, a film made with a certain breezy contempt for audiences.
Although uneven and too deliberately obscure in meaning to be entirely satisfying, result remains sufficiently intriguing and startling to bring many of Lynch's old fans back on board for this careening ride.