Two car accidents, a crushed skull and a severed penis: it’s a busy night in ‘Middleton’, the Anywhere, USA locale for Greg Marcks’ enjoyably unhinged black comedy. Analysing one moment in time from five different perspectives, this exercise in splintered narrative feels like Amores Perros by way of Tarantino. In other words it’s slightly old hat, though outlandish incident and oddball casting choices keep boredom at bay.
Working out how Hilary Swank’s shop girl, Ben Foster’s castrated teen, Patrick Swayze’s distraught parent and town bike Rachael Leigh Cook are connected will keep Sudoku-loving punters happy in a film whose continuity bod must have been the most important person on set. What’s lacking, though, is any sense of purpose beyond providing Marcks with an eye-catching calling card. As deft as his sleight-of-hand is, the viewer is as much a pawn here as any of his ensemble.
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