Rating: R for violence and language
Run Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes
Welcome to Sam Bicke’s world, a landscape littered with failed employment opportunities, dwindling friendships, and broken promises. Increasingly embittered and borderline paranoiac, Bicke’s daily reality is shaded in grey and slipping away.
His personal affront over a rejected
loan propels Bicke (Sean Penn) to lash out the only way he knows how: plan to
hijack a plane and fly it straight into the White House. Mark real change by destroying the seat of
government and changing the face of the
Penn is not one to sidestep attitude. As the perpetually disintegrating Bicke in Niels Mueller’s mildly tense and evocative mood piece, Penn recalls Taxi Driver’s infamous crackpot Travis Bickle with a pinch of Falling Down’s volatile William Foster thrown in for creeps.
Mueller plays it like a fever dream,
an anarchic valentine to neurotic, misguided souls who can not and will not
embrace defeat. As a self-proclaimed
“grain of sand on the beach called
Penn never strays from character, saturating Bicke’s modest soul with a brittle edge that’s ready to snap. An air of bitter fatigue washes over all, from the deliberate, bordering-on-slow tempo to the inevitable breakdown. Determined to succeed but doomed to failure; ouch.