Picks and Pans Review: Lost Highway

updated 03/03/1997 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/03/1997 AT 01:00 AM EST

Bill Pullman, Balthazar Getty

Once again director David Lynch takes us into his dream world of madness and sexual violence. Get the man to a Starbucks. Now.

Highway begins with eerie, ominous promise. Pullman is a saxophonist with a limpid, beautiful wife (Patricia Arquette). She has dark copper hair, which goes nicely with the beige-brown walls. He suspects her of having an affair, although mostly she just pads about the house. Meanwhile someone has been leaving manila envelopes on the front steps. Inside are cryptic videotapes, one containing grainy footage of the couple asleep in bed. Then there's a murder, and the movie switches to a story about a young garage mechanic (Getty). He gets mixed up with a slim, shiny blonde (Arquette again) who is dating some sort of crime lord (Robert Loggia). This summation may actually make Highway sound semicoherent, but the movie climaxes in a chaos of images: a motel where lightning flashes in the corridors, glimpses of what may be a snuff movie, and a cabin that burns like Moses' bush. Robert Blake, as a nameless character, wanders in and out, trying to look dangerously enigmatic in a dark suit and Pan-Cake makeup. Is he death? The id? Joel Grey in Cabaret? (R)

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