King of California
Michael Douglas is a mental patient on the loose, out to liberate Spanish gold buried beneath a Costcoor maybe a Petco, or perhaps that Applebees over yonder. Bushy-bearded, wild-eyed and dressed like an art-directed hobo, Douglas looks like hes working on a Wonder Boys sequel; if only. Instead, were merely off to Crazytown, with Evan Rachel Wood along for the bumpy ride as Douglass poor, put-upon daughter who finds her solitary, humdrum existencenights working at McDonalds, days wandering the empty houseruined by the return of her nutty pops, who somehow convinces the pragmatic teen to go on late-night and roadside scavenger hunts armed with only a metal detector, some old journals, and a gardeners shovel. Hard to tell whats more annoying in this empty character study of eccentrics and the suckers who love them: the braying, blurting soundtrack or Douglas himself, who cant find his way into a man tortured by dull demons. As for Wood, theres but one saving grace: At least she doesnt have to sing Beatles songs, as shes forced to do in Across the Universe. That automatically renders King of California her best bad film of 2007, hands down.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.