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Johnny Destiny burns into Las Vegas in his hot Plymouth RoadRunner, stopping only to pick up a stranger stranded in the desert. But then, things aren't always as they seem. Anything can happen in that town of many possibilities...especially since there's been some weird electrical disturbances. As the stranger, fresh out of prison, tries to put his life back together--to recover his money from an old bank heist and the girl he lost in doing the job--something keeps interfering with his plans. Is it fate...or just Destiny? Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
A Highlight of the Magical Desert Genre, Class of 95-98
"Destiny Turns on the Radio" is an extremely fun trip into a weird mythological netherworld of Las Vegas. It is a film that implements a purposefully corny magical realism to tell a story of an escaped convict rediscovering his destiny.
And magical it is. This film is in a class of a few other 90's films (all of which never really found an audience outside the late-night-Cinemax crowd) that capture a magically bright, giddy, and surreal atmosphere -- this one in a gleeful Las Vegas setting. Its classmates include "Box of Moonlight" and "Mojave Moon".
Despite a few technical flaws (the sound's iffy and so is some blocking -- and I'd lose Tarrantino if this was my film), the movie just works in an odd sort of way. The cast seems to be having a great time (note especially Tracey Walter and James Legros' father-son's-best-friend bonding scenes), the locations and cinematography are dazzling, and it provides an intangible escape into a weird cinematic netherworld. It's as if some portal opened up to these filmmakers in this specific class of the mid-90s and enlightened them all with late-night-Cinemax charm. More, please!
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