Brilliant yet extremely brutal and disturbing media satire
"Natural Born Killers" is a thought provoking yet incredibly disturbing satire of serial killers and their media coverage, that can only be recommended for serious movie lovers.
It tells the story of two young criminals who go on a killing spree all through the nation with the press following their every step.
Throughout its running time, it is challenging the viewer, constantly pushing the limits of taste and delivering controversy after controversy. E.g., there is a scene that depicts how the two protagonists/antagonists met in the style of a sitcom, all including laughing tracks, which also strongly suggests her being raped by her father, and depicts the both of them killing him. The whole movie has an oddly romantic touch, despite lots of violence depicted.
Its storytelling is surreal, constantly switching between black and white and color, featuring subliminal messages, short clips and images.
For all its disturbing and often macabre content and direction, it is brilliant. It takes a plotline roughly similar to the story of Bonnie and Clyde, with the major difference of not only depicting the ugly truth left out in most film adaptions of their lives, but taking them to new extremes. What it ultimately shows is a world where criminals who kill and slaughter get more media attention than popstars and are seen as cultural icons. There are scenes where a journalist, searching for a hit story, argues with the two killers if they are "bigger" than other murderers, like Jack the Ripper. Unfortunately, this film has something very true to it. But it is delivered with lots of creativity and the darkest of humour which makes this a gripping and visceral experience. Oliver Stone, who directed the movie, is known for his political and critical output, and he never released a more radical, shocking statement. ////
"Natural Born Killers" is a brutal movie throughout. People are viciously killed, including shootings, severed body parts (a finger in the opening scene, later on a body is ripped apart which is only seen from a distance and through a shaky camera), others are stabbed, beaten up, burnt, cut, hit with objects, or get stomped on. Some of the brief clips and images that are seen throughout the film have disturbing or gory visual content, but so does most of the film.
All of this is shown in a disturbingly jolly fashion, often combined with cheesy romance or even tasteless humour, which adds to the shocking atmosphere. Often the killings have a playful tone to them, as if the killers see them more like pranks. Furthermore, the criminals are on drugs (most prominently magic mushrooms) during much of their attacks. As a matter of fact, the entire movie has a trippy look and editing. Sex is present during the entire movie, with some female nudity shown, and different positions and with different partners. It has R-rated sexual content and it comes to little surprise the language features every four lettered word in the book, but all of this is overshadowed by the massive amount of violence in this film.
It takes a certain intellect and maturity to see that this movie does not glorify the violence but actually is tongue in cheek and criticizes how media depicts criminals and turns them to celebrities. On the other hand, this film is so artful and difficult to watch, it is unlikely people that are too young to watch it would enjoy it anyways, unless they are cinephiles. This film is suitable only for the most mature of teens.
This title contains:
Violence & scariness
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking