Empty head

Full of conspiracies, all The Skulls lacks is a brain

But Joshua Jackson can no more communicate trepidation than a plain doughnut. When he's drugged and sent to a mental hospital by The Skulls (a place named Sanctuary Psychiatric Institute -- how subtle), he finally seems in his element; his is a face made to be doped up and covered in drool. Pairing him with Leslie Bibb is like pouring Perrier into Pellegrino: She renders the phrase "love interest" an oxymoron. As the senator who may or may not be among the few good Skulls, William Petersen speaks in a Southern accent doused in a mint julep; you half expect him to get swept up in the arms of Rhett Butler. And Craig T. Nelson wears his evil on his upper lip, in the guise of a caterpillar moustache he all but licks incessantly; all he lacks is a pinky ring. But at least he seems to be having a good time; at least he gets it.

Any film that climaxes with a flintlock duel must surely be aware of its overheated intentions, but The Skulls is made by men so humorless, they're not only unaware of the gag but utterly convinced it's the first time such a tale has been told. It has all the charm of a lecture -- so much so, the Washington Monthly and Slate's Timothy Noah have taken to insisting that the branding scene is included to "embarrass" George W. (though the Skull & Bones never branded its members, the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, to which the Shrub also belonged, did). Sometimes, you wonder whether the whole world's not spending its free time in a chat room with Oliver Stone.

WAR, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing. Say it again.
WAR, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing. Say it again.


Starring Joshua Jackson, Paul Walker, Leslie Bibb, Craig T. Nelson, Hill Harper, William Petersen, and Christopher McDonald

Release Date:
March 31

Official site

Directed by Rob Cohen

Written by John Pogue

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