Image C+ Sound A- Extras D+
starring Sam Riley, Garrett Hedlund, Kristen Stewart, Viggo Mortensen
screenplay by Jose Rivera, based on the novel by Jack Kerouac
directed by Walter Salles
by Angelo Muredda "You goin' some place, or just goin'?" a fellow traveller asks Sam Riley's Sal Paradise in the long-gestating, still-undigested On the Road, Walter Salles's handsomely-mounted but stiff adaptation of Jack Kerouac's hipster Bible. While that's a dangerous line to adapt in such an aimless movie, it isn't even the most unfortunate moment of meta-commentary within the first ten minutes. Consider Sal's panicked voiceover about the text he's spinning out, ostensibly the same one we're trudging through: "And what is there to talk about exactly? The book I'm not writing? The inspiration I don't feel? Even the beer's flat." What, indeed? What's left to say about a project that insists on reviewing itself at regular checkpoints and keeps finding its inspiration wanting?