The Doors

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It's one of several compensatory surprises in this foray into the '60s that, as Jim Morrison, erstwhile paperweight Val Kilmer almost does for screwed-up rock stars what De Niro did for hapless middleweights; and less so that Stone all but manages to save his biopic of the hazy, crazy days of yore from becoming just another well-worn variation on the theme of self-destructive cock-rock and self-styled shamanism. This swirling dervish of a film charts the Doors' rise from avant-gardists to pop sensations to notoriety symbols, with Morrison rapidly alienating his less visionary and far less pretentious colleagues, led by MacLachlan's pragmatic Ray Manzarek. Stone sometimes loads the narrative with too much sub-Freudian baggage about Morrison's childhood, but the music, the excess and the excitement come across well; there are splendid cameos of the likes of Warhol and the Velvet Underground's Nico (giving Jim good head in a New York elevator); and Meg Ryan (as Jim's 'lady') shows commendable patience in the role of band ornament.

Release details

Duration: 140 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Oliver Stone
Screenwriter: Oliver Stone, J Randal Johnson
Cast: Billy Idol
Val Kilmer
Meg Ryan
Kyle MacLachlan
Frank Whaley
Dennis Burkley
Kathleen Quinlan
Kevin Dillon
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