Top positive review
34 people found this helpful
It really is pretty good...
on 12 January 2010
There's a lot of disparity of opinion here about whether the film is great or terrible, and the truth is that it really is pretty good; not mind bendingly brilliant, but a really honest artistic attempt at recreating the life of the Doors and Jim Morrision at the time. I was afraid it would be a shameless rummage through Doors hits, and an excuse to plaster them on screen, exploiting the Morrison myth, but it's really not. It follows Morrison from the beginning of the 60's up until his death, and along the way gives a perspective on the wayward ride there. It is not a definitive account, but how could it be? It will not satisfy everyone's 'expectations', but then again the myth surrounding Morrison is so prolific and varying that no film ever will do this. Also, people looking to mindlessly venerate Jim Morrison might want to reconsider buying it, or change their perspective. It is not a hallowed hall of shining glory all the way through, and if it was, it wouldn't be a very accurate depiction of Jim's life, or the Doors' music.
What it is, is a really good attempt at rendering a subjective look at the Doors and Morrison; part myth, part fact, and at times as listless as Morrison's own mind must have been. It's helped on by Val Kilmer who, as the official review up there says, does a frighteningly good Morrison singing impression. He looks the part and acts it well, and is follwed by great supporting actors. There are some reviews here deriding Kilmer, but I think from looking at them, they mostly have to do with people projecting their desire to have the 'real' Jim Morrison, and that's not going to happen. Any actor trying to live up to the myth people may have painted in their heads won't happen, but I personally feel that Kilmer's attempt is bang on, and probably gets a lot closer to a depiction of a 'real' Morrison than any of the fantasies people have about him will do. Kilmer's not always great, but he's perfect for this. Some reviews here like the one calling for Kilmer to be replaced with Russel Brand need some serious thought put into them. He may not be perfect (and who is), but Kilmer does this role justice. People having done drugs does not make them like Jim Morrison.
If you're a Doors fan, it will almost certainly give you a real kick, especially if you look at it artistically, the way I believe it was meant to be viewed. It is, after all, an artistic, not a definitive or historical, depiction of a life that few people who were even involved in it must have understood. The music's good, the myth is there, the feel is right. It can't be a classic because of how difficult classic originality is to produce when in part you're trying to recreate something. However it is, despite a lot of misguided underrating, actually pretty good. If what you want is a perfect recreation of your hopes, definitive history, flawless homage or shameless plug, then don't bother watching this film, because you won't get them here. However if you are willing to go along with it and not use it for cheap wish fulfillment, then buy it; it's well made and it really is worth seeing, but more than that, it lets something special live on.