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Cruise goes for the (pardon the pun) gold, delving heart and soul into Kovic.
Spending most of the film in a wheelchair, Cruise is believable and relatable as a young man unwilling to rehabilitate and assume the role everyone wants him to play.
As much to his detriment as it is to his advantage, Stone remains one of the most unique and vocal voices among working American filmmakers.
While his output might be uneven, his films are hardly ever boring.
On the positive side, Val Kilmer is sensational as Jim, psychotically engulfing himself in his role, and he made it difficult for many to think of Jim Morrison without conjuring up his portrayal.
While Stone does try and paint the picture of both sides (sort of), it’s clear his sympathies lie with the lefty revolutionaries struggling to overthrow their corrupt and death-squad-happy government.
That really wouldn’t be so bad if the dialogue wasn’t a thinly veiled attempt to deliver a ham-fisted and diatribe-y monologue about U. hegemony or creating a second Vietnam (while all valid concerns, it’s far too obvious and stilted).
The rise and fall of one of the most noted bands of the 1960s is not captured in “The Doors,” and Stone missed many opportunities to make this more than just a drug addled, sad sack story of indulgence and narcissism.
It’s watchable, if only for the soundtrack, an underutilized Kyle Mac Lachlan as Ray Manzarek, and Kilmer.