'Paranoid Park': Nothing Happens

Maui Time | October 26, 2007
Variety's Todd McCarthy writes of Gus Van Sant's latest film as adding "another panel to his pictures about disaffected youth." The word panel is an appropriately inert designation for Van Sant's lazy man's approach to making movies. He aims his camera at inarticulate young male characters and hopes something happens. It doesn't. Based on Blake Nelson's novel, Paranoid Park is set in Portland, Oregon, where skateboarding teens live an underground existence that gravitates around an illegal skatepark responsible for the film's title. The movie slips into gear when 16-year-old Alex accidentally knocks a train security guard to his death while "riding the rails" with a newfound friend from the skatepark. A local detective grills Alex and his skateboard pals, and Alex's estranged family life prattles about his inability to connect with the girl whose virginity he takes as though he were washing dishes he didn't want to do. Paranoid Park may be the best of the Van Sant's last four films, but that isn't saying much.

Rated R, 84 mins. (C+)

Maui Time

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