Entropy

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Entropy

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The first of many signs that Entropy will not be a good movie arrives during its opening credits: The film's editor is listed as "John Galt," the name of the iconic protagonist of Ayn Rand's objectivist manifesto Atlas Shrugged. As weak as objectivism is as a philosophy, its materialism-as-morality ethos makes for even worse art. Objectivism's aura of self-absorption hangs all over Entropy, director Phil Joanou's (Heaven's Prisoners, State Of Grace) miserable cinematic valentine to himself. The second sign that Entropy will be a slog is that it's yet another film about the travails of a filmmaker (Stephen Dorff) who must fight comically inept studio heads for his artistic soul. It's a tale told about as often as the life of Christ, and with lesser results. The third and most damning sign comes similarly early on, as—in what could be perceived as an homage to Eric Schaeffer's dreadful Fall—Dorff's shallow, whiny director falls into an instant, obsessive love affair with a creepy European model (Judith Godreche). Dorff is a gifted actor, but he and Godreche have no chemistry, in part because her ridiculously romanticized fantasy girl seems more like a benevolent alien than a human being. (That Dorff inexplicably slips into a bad Christian Slater impersonation at random doesn't help.) The members of U2 show up for brief and pointless (but prominently billed) cameos—Joanou directed Rattle And Hum, and his surrogate here has a working relationship with the band—but nothing short of an appearance by the prophet Elijah himself could rouse Entropy from its cocoon of self-importance. Sluggishly paced and pretentious, yet stylish in an I-spent-my-formative-years-directing-music-videos kind of way, it's a personal film in the most extreme sense: Like the home movie it often resembles, it shouldn't be seen by anyone other than Joanou and those closest to him.

Filed Under: Film

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