The Doom Generation (Gregg Araki)

Rating: 2.5

I absolutely loathed Araki's first film, THE LIVING END, and I didn't see 
his sophomore effort, TOTALLY FUCKED UP, due to generally tepid reviews 
and an utter lack of interest on my part, so I was surprised by how much 
I enjoyed THE DOOM GENERATION...up to a point.  The performances are 
remarkably appealing in their stereotypicality (I especially enjoyed 
James Duval's Keanu-Reeves-on-Quaaludes shtick); the dialogue is the best 
of its kind since HEATHERS; most importantly, Araki seems to have learned 
how to use a camera and write a screenplay since I last saw his work.  
(Or maybe, as a heterosexual, I simply respond better to this 
"heterosexual film" than to THE LIVING END's in-your-face queerness.  I 
don't think so--I think THE LIVING END is just bad filmmaking--but I 
include this caveat nonetheless.)  But there's still too much adolescent 
gore humor and narrative aimlessness for my taste, and the film's sudden, 
hideous conclusion comes out of nowhere and resolves nothing; it's 
shocking and painful to watch without being cathartic.  I can't quite 
recommend THE DOOM GENERATION, but I unexpectedly find myself looking 
forward to Araki's next film.