Star rating - 2/10
It's all about managing expectations isn't it. So after its critical mauling, I wasn't holding out hope of an equally classic movie in this Walter Salles's directed film version of the classic 1957 Jack Kerouac novel on its DVD release. But I really wasn't expecting it to be quite this bad, considering it even underwent some post Cannes festival editing.
Salles has got form in making great road trip films - his The Motorcycle Diaries from 2004 about the adventures of a young Che Guevara was exciting and insightful. But this time he has managed to turn a gem of a book, which is almost obligatory teenage angst reading to this day I would imagine, into a tedious film, about boring people, with an overblown soundtrack.
He has lost all the delight and nuances of the book, and the narration hits an extremely false note from the very start. Even the presence of the talented Sam Riley and Kirsten Dunst can't save it. I am giving generous points for beautiful locations, nice cars, and for Garrett Hedlund being so damn handsome. Otherwise I would steer well clear (pardon the pun).