Gerry review

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Matt Damon is Gerry. And so, in fact, is Casey Affleck. Together, they go wandering in the wilderness. Hate plot spoilers? Too bad, cos you just read one. Made before his Palme d'Or-winning Elephant, Gus Van Sant's new film parks the boys in the arse-end of nowhere and leaves them there with a script you couldn't blow your nose on. So they walk - through desolated scrubland, across baking desert and over rocky hills. For 103 minutes. And that's your movie.

So what have we got here? Existential minimalism or empty pretence? Well, "Gerry" is actually Yank slang for "complete fuck-up" - though, as summations go, that's a little unfair. Van Sant's odyssey into his indie homeland after studio duffers Finding Forrester and Psycho is actually a cinematic stunt, really no different to Andy Warhol's Sleep or Derek Jarman's Blue. It's also a stubborn attempt to strip away decorative technique and get back to the barest of basics, to find what lies beneath. Brave move, but Van Sant directs with a shattered compass, searching for meaning but finding only inane amusement and a vacant beauty trapped in rolling cloud mass and honeyed sunlight.

No denying the curiosity value of this one, but it's an endurance test of a movie, both exhausting and unfulfilling. Could be Walking For Godot or Good Will Hiking, depending on how you look at it.


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