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S.F.W. Review

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Cliff (Dorff) is held hostage in a convenience store to his complete indifference. But when his best friend is killed in the ensuing shoot out, he tries to escape the media frenzy by hitting the road, and trying to make sense of it all.

★★★★★

Given that the acronym of the title stands for a curt "So fucking what?", it's pretty clear where the sensibilities of Levy's glib but entertaining movie lie: slap-bang in the middle of the anti-media movement spearheaded by the likes of the notorious Natural Born Killers.

Although here it's presented with slightly less hysteria and more of a teen image.

Cliff Spab (Dorff) becomes a national celebrity after being held hostage in a convenience store for 36 days and having his captivity serialised in a set of videos beamed out across the nation by his captors. Answering his desperate situation with flip humour, he unknowingly coins the soon-to-be celebrated phrase "So fucking what".

Following a confused shoot-out, in which his best friend (Busey) is killed, Spab emerges into a media frenzy in many ways more callous and unreal than the hostage crisis. At which point, he turns his back on the furore and hits the road in a desperate attempt to make sense of it all.

Meanwhile, fellow hostage Witherspoon hits the chat show circuit.

Levy's message creaks with typical Generation X griping. But as contrived as it may be, he hits many of the right buttons. Dorff has never been better, simmering with cool in his shades and stubble, a look of weary indifference on his face, a dope-fiend vacancy in the eyes.

The music comes hard, loud and fast. And, if the flashback routine for the siege is rather fanciful, it still boasts some violent surprises. But there's no disguising the bitter and tired satire, and the film goes way overboard for its final stroke: the media sucks, God help the kids.

Glib and entertaining, the movie is slightly contrived but a lovely performance from Dorff and a loud two fingers to the media don't let it fade into the cinematic background.

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