The Limits of Control

Rated 1.0

The Limits of Control is writer-director Jim Jarmusch’s first unqualified failure, a botched attempt at Lynchian weirdness that’s as much of an emotionally barren wasteland as Lynch’s own megadud Lost Highway. Frequent Jarmusch collaborator Isaach De Bankolé (he was the Parisian cab driver in Night on Earth) plays a Zen-robot hit man on an unspecified assignment in Spain. He stoically slurps espresso in Madrid cafes and psychedelic Eurail trains as one “contact” after another sidles up, recites a zombie monologue about art or science, delivers a matchbox with indecipherable instructions and walks away. Two hours later, the film ends. Jarmusch packs in the mummified wackiness—Tilda Swinton in an Edgar Winter-goes-cowboy get-up, Bill Murray as the toupee-wearing mark, John Hurt yammering on about La Bohème—but the cameos are as dreary as the rest of the film. (Daniel Barnes)