The Million Dollar Hotel

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Buena Vista Social Club profited from Ry Cooder's contacts book; this, however, stumbles at the first on a story originating with Wenders' other famous rock pal, Bono. It begins with a man leaping from the eponymous LA hostel. Why? To honour his friend Izzy, perhaps. Recalling his last days from beyond the grave, Tom Tom (Davies) expounds a tale in which his ex-pal's own skydive on to the same pavement stirs up a commotion among the denizens of this sanctuary for the down-and-out. What none of them knew was that Izzy was a slumming California golden boy, whose death attracts the attentions of the media and a hardnut FBI investigator called Skinner (Gibson in a neckbrace). Misjudgment abounds: the hotel jetsam are, one and all, rancorous 'wise fool' clichés; Gibson's obscure, obsessive stiffneck is alienating rather than intriguing; the plot goes nowhere, convolutedly; and the soundtrack's limp. One or two scenes evince the sort of cinematic dexterity Wenders might have exploited were he not set on floundering about with this witless material.

By: NB

Release details

Duration: 122 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Wim Wenders
Screenwriter: Nicholas Klein
Cast: Milla Jovovich
Jeremy Davies
Mel Gibson
Jimmy Smits
Peter Stormare
Amanda Plummer
Gloria Stuart
Tom Bower
Donal Logue
Bud Cort
Julian Sands
Charlayne Woodard
Tim Roth
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