There's an obvious point of comparison here with imperial Rome's taste for recreational carnage and brutality, which is why Stone includes a lengthy clip from Ben-Hur in this gargantuan, gung-ho American footballfest. Also included: colour filters and transitions, split-screens, freeze frames, pictures-in-pictures, assorted film and video stocks, helicopter shots, cornball weather imagery, histrionic sound effects, HipHop, heavy metal, drugs, sex, gyrating cheerleaders, colliding jocks, onfield set-pieces, off field set-tos, an encyclopaedic deployment of genre stereotypes, and stars stars stars. You may, of course, take this as a recommendation. Supercilious Europeans who insist that Americans possess no sense of irony have spent too much time in the company of Oliver Stone films. Agreed, the director has other qualities: few film-makers could hope to martial this much information into two and a half hours (fewer would try), and his flair for representational overload in itself must make Stone one of the outstanding chroniclers of American cultural decadence. Whether simply parroting the world around him makes the resulting work any good, or enjoyable, is another matter. This one's a meathead burlesque.