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Twin Peaks Fire Walk With Me

David Lynch's frustrating feature film prequel to his revolutionary but wayward television drama Twin Peaks follows shamefully in the footsteps of the series' goofy and aimless final season. Although Lynch finally offers a conclusive answer to the mystery of who killed teen queen Laura Palmer, Fire Walk With Me captures the director at his most obtuse. The film begins one year before the murder of Laura Palmer, as FBI Special Agent Chester Desmond (Chris Isaak) and his neophyte, savant partner (Kiefer Sutherland) investigate the murder of Teresa Banks, a crime that leads them to an oddball trailer park where Desmond mysteriously disappears. From there, the narrative shifts forward 12 months to chronicle the finals days of Laura (Sheryl Lee) and her tensions with her boyfriend Bobby (Dana Ashbrook), best friend Donna (Moira Kelly, stepping in for series no-show Lara Flynn Boyle), and her attentive father (Ray Wise). The few quality revelations are drowned by Lynch's cavalier propensity for careless riddles and half-assed non sequiturs, the aimlessness of which he often smothers in deadening noise. The film runs an excruciating 135 minutes, with maybe 40 minutes of worthy material — enough for, say, one last hour-long television time-slot. New Line's Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me DVD sports a fine anamorphic transfer (1.85) and both DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks. The only notable extra feature on board is a half-hour montage of playfully edited interviews with several cast members and some unidentified talking heads shot eight years after the film's release. While most speak warmly of their experience in the television series, few bear kind words for this uneven, disappointing film. Trailer, snap-case.
—Gregory P. Dorr

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