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.
Cast and crew