(director/writer: Tim Sutton; cinematographer: John Brawley; editor: Holle Singer; music:Machine Gun Kelly; cast: Colson Baker, AKA Machine Gun Kelly (Cole), Maddie Hasson (Ilana), Scoot McNairy (Ray), Naomi Wild (Lena), Lil Tjay (Self), Ruby Rose (Bub), Megan Fox (Mae), Demetrius “Lil Meech” Flenory Jr. (Syl), T.K. Weaver (A Young Boy Fan), Avery Essex (Rosie); Runtime: 98; MPAA Rating: NR; producers;Jib Polhemus, Rob Paris, Mike Witherill: A Rivulet Film; 2022)

“A somber tale where fiction and real-life are blurred.

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Writer-director Tim Sutton (“Dark Night “/”Donnybrook”) films this gloomy character study of a doomed self-hating musician that’s set over a few days in his spiraling downward life. The lonely and angry musician, the immature Cole (Machine Gun Kelly, noted singer), is a fictitious, self-destructive and celebrated rapper who we catch at his luxury Hollywood Hills home, work studio, having sex in his pool and drunk or stoned at strip clubs. The screen musician reminds us most of the actor playing him (before getting his act together) or of the late Kurt Cobain. It’s a somber tale where fiction and real-life are blurred.

The plot revolves around the singer trying to put together a signature song while bummed out on drugs and life. His ex is Mae (Megan Fox, real-life squeeze), who fight when unheard behind the closed doors of a soundproof recording studio. The couple have a daughter Rosie (
Avery Essex).

After the opening scene in Los Angeles, where we see a young boy killing his parents with their own gun–we can see this will probably not be a film with a happy ending.

It’s a probing drama that searches for answers for those who have lost their way when overwhelmed with drugs, fame, fortune, power, and infamy. But no salvation is revealed. The film follows a flawed protagonist, who never quite lets us into his dark soul, failing marriage or his life’s ambitions (except through his art).

In supporting roles:
Naomi Wild, plays an up-and-coming pop star, Lena, who records a track for Cole’s album, and Maddie Hasson plays his assistant Ilana, who is treated cruelly but tends to himn a sisterly way.

It played at the Berlin Film Festival.


REVIEWED ON 2/19/2022  GRADE: B-