Review based on a free copy provided by Amazon – by it here. *Originally written in 2013.
It’s about damn time. For decades now, John Milius has been the leading renegade of Hollywood, directing a number of hits, writing some of the most important moments in Cinematic history, and contributing to some of the greatest films of all time. Finally, with this documentary he gets the reverential treatment and respect he deserves – a fantastic, comprehensive documentary which acts both as dedication and memoir, history and story, and hopefully a piece of media which will bring the man back into the spotlight and gain him some recognition with modern audiences.
Through a variety of interviews new and old, archive footage and movie clips, Milius charts the rise, and supposed fall, of the original maverick. We learn of his politics, often confused by others, his views on storytelling and Hollywood itself, and hear many hilarious stories about his early days as a writer and encounters with Hollywood suits. For those not familiar with him, there is a checklist of people he has directly influenced and worked with – the documentary is a who’s who of American Cinema with Spielberg, Lucas, Coppola, Schwarzenegger, Stallone, Scorsese and so on recounting their tales. It is a fascinating story with many wonderful insights into the legend’s character. Hopefully he gets back to full health soon and gets to make a few more classics, as the days of the Hollywood renegade seem almost forgotten and needs someone to kickstart another revolution. He was part of the cinema revolution of the Seventies, so why not again?
Growing up in the 80s I was always a big fan of Milius, with hits including Conan The Barbarian and Red Dawn as well as writing on numerous films – Jaws, Dirty Harry, Apocalypse Now – he is an integral part of movie history and anyone with a passing interest in cinema should enjoy this. It’s a fast moving, well detailed, and entertaining couple of years in the company of some of Hollywood’s finest.
Let us know in the comments what you think of Milius the movie, Milius the man, and the work he has done.