Case Number 00250


Sony // 1999 // 106 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Chief Justice Mike Jackson (Retired) // January 4th, 2000

The Charge

It's not porn, but you'll wish it were.

Opening Statement

LOST: one hour, forty-five minutes, fifty-six seconds of a man's life. Reward offered if returned.

The Evidence

The court orders each person in the courtroom to imagine the most pointless scenario your mind can envision. Carving an ice sculpture in the middle of Death Valley. Having your Olympic Gold Metal in Skeet Shooting bronzed. Forging your own signature. Nay, the judge decrees that the most pointless thing in existence is the plot of The Loss Of Sexual Innocence.

The Loss Of Sexual Innocence is more or less exactly why the average filmgoer prefers the inanity of Double Jeopardy to unconventional arthouse fare. For every Full Monty or Run Lola Run, there are fifty incomprehensible, unwatchable films that could only be enjoyed by critics who don't want other critics to snicker behind their back because they didn't "get" the latest indie masterpiece. Sigh.

The plot of The Loss Of Sexual Innocence, at least as far as I can crib from other reviews, centers around a man named Nic, and the sexual exploits of his life, starting at age six, stopping while he is a teenager, then proceeding to adulthood. Interspersed with that mess of a story is another mess of a story, centering on some sort of a telling of the Biblical story of Adam and Eve. We are also "treated" to the chance meeting of twins separated at birth and the murder of a desert native. It's boring, pretentious, and confusing.

This mess was written and directed by Mike Figgis. The English-born director received two Academy Award nominations for his 1995 film, Leaving Las Vegas. Apparently he slept through the lectures on narrative structure in film school. The movie jumps back and forth between points in Nic's life without bothering to give the clips any sort of context. He introduces characters without giving us any sort of background, any details on their personality, or in many cases, their names.

Several of the actors, who I'm sure will be rushing to update their resumes, may be recognizable. Jonathan Rhys-Meyers plays Nic at sixteen years old. He has appeared in Ride With The Devil, Velvet Goldmine, and Michael Collins. Julian Sands plays Nic as an adult, and received the most screen time. He has mostly appeared in other arthouse fare like A Room With A View and One Night Stand. The best face, and the only one I've seen in something else, is Saffron Burrows. She portrayed the research scientist trying to avoid becoming shark food in Deep Blue Sea. In this film, she plays the twins who reunite for twenty seconds in an airport.

Regarding my porn comment. The movie has a LOT of nudity, but unfortunately it isn't the fun kind. The Adam and Eve figures spend the whole time naked, and we get to see them "discovering" each watching each other pee in their watering hole. Eww. Like The NeverEnding Story, the makers of the movie should be sued for false advertising due to the misleading title.

The DVD...hmm, what can I find to say about the disc that might be positive? It comes in the Amaray keep case. It's an anamorphic transfer. The only extra is a commentary track (sometimes a lack of extras can be a good thing). That's about it. The video is flat, washed-out, and grainy. It is plagued with dirt and scratches on the negative. Several scenes are pixelated. Audio is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo.

The Rebuttal Witnesses

Apparently, other people have enjoyed The Loss Of Sexual Innocence, but like I've already said, I think they were mostly critics looking to impress their critic friends. I can back that statement up by saying the movie made less than ten percent of its $4 million budget. I pity those investors.

Closing Statement

For the love of God, spare yourself and don't watch this movie. It's Ishtar bad. It's Batman And Robin bad. Get the picture?

I am including a link to Mr. Cranky's review because, darn it, he's better at making fun of movies. I can't believe it avoided a dynamite rating.

The Verdict

Michael Figgis, the court sentences you to one life sentence for each minute of this movie the judge had to endure. Your life is spared only by the judge's aversion to the death penalty. May the gods of filmmaking have mercy on your career.

Review content copyright © 2000 Mike Jackson; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2016 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Video: 40
Audio: 45
Extras: 15
Acting: 40
Story: 5
Judgment: 14

Special Commendations
* Bottom 100 Discs: #55

Perp Profile
Studio: Sony
Video Formats:
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Spanish)

* English
* French
* Spanish

Running Time: 106 Minutes
Release Year: 1999
MPAA Rating: Rated R

Distinguishing Marks
* Commentary Track with Director Mike Figgis

* IMDb

* Official Site

* Mr. Cranky's Review