Lost Angels suffers from some of the communication problems which bedevil its young, inarticulate hero. Hugh Hudson’s wannabe Rebel without a Cause update tries to be a serious exploration of throwaway middle-class teens in the San Fernando Valley, but despite some gripping moments it’s often cliched and incoherent.
Adam Horovitz of the Beastie Boys rap band has a sympathetic presence but not enough to do as the troubled lead.
It’s another of those films about mental illness that tries to have it both ways, perhaps for fear of turning off the audience by presenting a lead who is truly disturbed.
The film powerfully conveys the latent violence just below the brooding surface of Horovitz’ quiet demeanor. Whether it’s the prelude to a freakout as he learns he’s being locked up, or a fistfight with shrink Donald Sutherland, or a nightmarish violence-seeking trip to a Latino area, Horovitz has the ability to impersonate a stick of dynamite.
Sutherland brings subtlety to his occasional scenes as a scruffy shrink who has enough emotional problems to be empathetic.