Million Dollar Hotel

So I finally got around to watching the Million Dollar Hotel movie, which clocks in at around two hours long, and unfortunately that’s around two hours of my life I will never get back. I have seen a few references to the movie here and there and how good it is, and the answer is that all those critics are correct, that this is a terrible movie and you should run away from it. The only redeeming thing is the music, and even then there’s only a few parts of the soundtrack worth listening to (yes, you are correct, it’s the U2 parts). I don’t know why I am reviewing this, other than that U2 had a significant part in the soundtrack and that Bono allegedly came up with the idea for the movie (I bet he denies it now though).

The movie starts with The First Time as the opening theme, while things begin happening, and when you hear that you think wow, maybe this won’t be so bad after all. But then you get to the action, and as the guy jumps off the roof he looks through all the windows as he falls, and all I could think was why everyone was awake and doing things so early in the morning.

The scene cuts to images of a man walking into the hotel, and it only shows his feet as he walks, along with everyone’s reaction to him. I must admit that as I watched that part I kept hoping that they would eventually pan up his body and we would discover that it is Bono, but of course no such luck, it turns out to be Mel Gibson. I liked Mel a while ago, he was good but crazy in the various movies he made his name in, although now he’s known just for being crazy. There’s a line in the movie where the Jewish billionaire is talking to Mel, and he says “My people decide the truth in sixty countries every morning,” and all I could think was about Mel’s recent history and controversies, and how that would play right into his wheelhouse of crazy.

The movie is not good, it is an artsy-fartsy movie, although we know that since Wim Wenders made it. I know he did interesting stuff here and there, I liked Wings Of Desire and Faraway, So Close, although I admit that I didn’t follow all the story lines in them. In Million Dollar Hotel the story doesn’t make any sense other than from a crazy person perspective, which is appropriate since they’re in a crazy person hotel. Maybe it’s because I’m not much into art movies, and I’ve never been in a flophouse hotel, but I don’t like the lighting, the staging, or much else about the movie. I don’t understand it, as the kind of people who make and like these kinds of movies would say.

Two other lines stood out for me, the first was “He was playing dumb too, but he was out of his league,” which strikes me as interesting and funny. The other was something that resonates through this whole year, two people talking to each other: “You missed the show.” “Saw it on tv.” “It’s not the same.” That could be an interesting theme for U2, watching on tv or online is definitely not the same as seeing them live. And it does remind me of Zoo TV, Bono’s line that you haven’t come out here to watch tv now, have you?

My rating for the Million Dollar Hotel: 1 / 10