Amy Locane and Brendan Fraser in Airheads (dir. Michael Lehmann, 1994).

Nina Siemaszko and Adam Sandler.

Steve Buscemi and Michael McKean.

Trapped--nay, scuttled--in this genially lame farce about three rockers who hold a radio station hostage is a thoughtful group character study imagined through the chromatic and compositional visual sensibility of a Bellini or a Veronese, were those artists forced to work in cheap temperas and deprived of their usual dignified subject matter.

One thing that's nice is that everyone is played just slightly against type, at least at times. Adam Sandler has not yet crystallized into his more manically rageaholic persona, so he comes off as a sleepy, addled baby. Steve Buscemi is a steroidal satyr, all venom and cockiness (check out his Thor tattoo). Brendan Fraser simmers with an almost believable anger, albeit an anger of vague and risible origin. Chris Farley has some shining (almost dignified!) moments.

1 comment:

rodney k said...

Now that you say Bellini, a little in those stills, amazingly, I see it. Maybe a Veronese shot with a dash of Hopper, or Lucien Freud, or some other modern portraitist who can stand in for the visual language of modern anomie. (Fraser opposite the Matisse-y nude's a warning shot that high art's in the air(head), I guess.) Astounded you found the inner Quattrocento of "Airheads."