*½/**** Image B Sound B Extras A
starring Dylan McDermott, Stacey Travis, John Lynch, Iggy Pop
written and directed by Richard Stanley
by Walter Chaw Hardware tries hard, it really does. Enfant terrible South African director Richard Stanley has built an entire cult of personality around how hard Hardware and its brother in theme and feel, Dust Devil, try--how, therefore, it's subsequently been impossible for him to get another project off the ground. But, a lot like Terry Gilliam, whose films Stanley's own resemble quite a bit, truth be told, at a certain point all that misdirected, aimless mess--all that excess and pretension, that empty production-design artiness--amounts to exactly what it should: frustration and failure and people figuring out this stuff is a bad investment. Hardware is a sometimes-eye-catching mess of derivative ideas and badly-executed dialogue, haloed 'round with this patina of high-falutin' ideas it's not fully capable of honouring--and hollow outrage it's not able to justify. Seems the pretext for the movie's atrocities has to do with Government's desire to thin its own herd because...because it's the post-apocalypse and, um, the government is evil, of course. Shut up. Try to pay attention.