You’ll need to be high to make any sense out of Inland Empire, yet it’s really the last movie you’d ever want to see on drugs. Like anything Lynch’s done over the last 15 years, Inland Empire is based more on bizarre, twisted scenes and structures rather than actual plot or character development. Hookers dance the locomotion, a trio of humanoid bunnies mumble strings of what seem like unconnected sentences accompanied by a laugh track, and there are films within films within films. Or something. I don’t really know, and I don’t think anybody knows, probably not even David Lynch himself.
At 3 hours in length only the most devoted Lynch fans will want to give this a try. Some scenes can really test your patience and seem to have no connection with the rest of the film, as if they were randomly spliced into the final version. Though Inland Empire is much like Lynch’s Mulholland Drive and Lost Highway in that it’s incredibly surreal and filled with terrifying visuals, this is the first time I didn’t enjoy getting lost and confused within a Lynch film. To be honest it felt just plain indulgent, and being Lynch’s first time shooting with digital film it seemed as though he wanted to cram in as many crazy, dreamlike ideas as possible, which after 3 hours can really take its toll. It’s intriguing, but also very exhausting.
I really have no idea what to rate Inland Empire. I don’t know if this is complete garbage or a complete masterpiece, and while my viewing was fairly unpleasant, I certainly can’t say that Inland Empire is unoriginal. All I know is that David Lynch is experimenting, and that’s nice.
Oh what the heck, I’ll give it a 7/10, but that really doesn’t mean anything.