As the extremely withdrawn Don Johnston is dumped by his latest woman, he receives an anonymous letter from a former lover informing him that he has a son who may be looking for him. A freelance sleuth neighbor moves Don to embark on a cross-country search for his old flames in search of answers.
Two innocent people are arrested. An interesting third person, with broken English, joins them in their cell. On his idea, they decide to escape from the prison. Their journey is the rest of the movie.
If you're expecting another quirky, brooding Jim Jarmusch film, or even that Jarmusch signature here and there, you will be disappointed. Gimme Danger is still a great film, but Jarmusch doesn't do what he usually does - show that the conventional can be really far out if you excavate a little - because he gets that Iggy and the Stooges are already supremely avante-garde; they are already Jim Jarmuschy. So Jarmusch does the opposite - he brings that down to earth, and just showcases what's already naturally there rather than try to create something. Still, documentary filmmaking turns out to be well suited for at least a couple of Jarmusch creative sensibilities. There's a charming, amiable leading man (Iggy), and when Iggy speaks there's a subtly comedic element, and subtle comedy is essential in all Jarmusch films. When Iggy tells the story of contacting Moe Howard of The Three Stooges, there's no need for direction with a magic touch. Just let it be.
Ultimately, Jarmusch forgoes being a director with a Jarmusch vision in Gimme Danger other than maybe hoping to convince the viewer to believe, after watching this film, that Iggy and the Stooges are the greatest rock and roll band of all time. He made Gimme Danger as a fan more than as Jim Jarmusch the auteur director, and it ends up being a "normal" kind of rock and roll doc/tribute, with plenty of great music and great footage, history, and lots of interviewing.
So to repeat, don't expect Gimme Danger to be a typical Jim Jarmusch film. But if you expect it to be a loving and intelligent tribute to a rock and roll band that "reinvented music as we know it" according to their former manager, a band that wiped out the 60s according to Iggy, you won't be disappointed.
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