Run Time: 91 Minutes
Director: Kevin Reynolds
Cast: Kevin Costner, Judd Nelson, Sam Robards, Suzy Amis
The above clip might mislead you. Not entirely, however, and not as much as the back-of-box description on the beat up copy of this that I bought. It sounds like a basic bro-dude buddy movie, and although it is essentially that, it awkwardly jumps in and out of this genre. Visually, it kind've reminds me of what might have happened if Michelangelo Antonioni had remade animal house. I say this because of the expansive desert shots throughout, and the out of the blue ending.
The thing is, Fandango was most certainly not directed by Antonioni. It was directed by Kevin Reynolds, who also was behind the camera for a little movie called Waterworld. Another Kevin, who we shall refer to as Cos. Cos appears to be Kevin Reynold's muse, seeing as the pair made several movies together that were notable, although of questionable quality. These include Fandango, Waterworld, and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.
Like the Robin Hood that he went on to portray, Cos leads another group of Merry men in this film, who go by the ultra-snappy name "The Groovers". These "Groovers" appear to be some unofficial fraternity, residing in the same U-Texas Austin house, circa 1971. We are given a brief glimpse of life in this house, which alternates between homo-erotic group mooning, and anxiety about going to Viet Nam. As it turns out, all of the alpha Groovers, who consist of Cos, Nelson, Robards, and an anonymous fat guy, are drafted. Their natural impulse, of course, is to go on a road trip!
As they cruise through the wide open Texan spaces, Cos remains charismatic, in a sort've proto-Owen Wilson way, Nelson acts like a castrating douche, which makes you question why they are friends with him to begin with, Robards whines about his girlfriend, and the fat guy sits there not saying much and being less attractive than the other three (I mean, someone had to be ommitted from the cover, right?). Hijinks, of course are bound to happen, and zany players are obviously met. Some of my favorites are the Scott Baio-esque car mechanic (who is only notable for his appearance) and the groovy hippies who run the flight school. The most notable moment for the Groovers is when they are at this groovy flight school. Since none of them want to engage in coitus with Nelson, in order to relieve his anal retention, they make him get on a totally far out air plane and sky dive. When it turns out this his parachute is actually the Wanda-from-Big-Love-esque-hippy-woman's-laundry, the groovers have to stop grooving and find a way to signal to their less than groovy bro, leading to some moments of hilarious abandon. Things work out (although I wont say how), although the hippie pilot shows up in the rest of the movie for no apparent reason.
Actually, the whole rest of the movie seems to be for no apparent reason. Cos's dart board, and phsychedellic fantasy woman shows up as Robards's GF, and a Robards-esque character shows up who may or may not have been in the movie the whole time. The movie kind've just ends, and I'm not sure where I was lead. Since I was not under the influence of any far-out mind altering substances at the time of my viewing (save a bottle of beer), I'll have to claim that my mind was clear and that the movie was what was muddy. All the same, a little incoherence never hurt anybody. Don't let it steer you away from Fandango. After all, it is the Water World of bro-dude road trip movies. All it needs is Tina Majorino.