Combustible Celluloid Review - Taurus (2022), Tim Sutton, Tim Sutton, Colson Baker, Maddie Hasson, Megan Fox, Scoot McNairy, Ruby Rose, Luis Da Silva Jr.
Combustible Celluloid
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With: Colson Baker, Maddie Hasson, Megan Fox, Scoot McNairy, Ruby Rose, Luis Da Silva Jr.
Written by: Tim Sutton
Directed by: Tim Sutton
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 98
Date: 11/18/2022

Taurus (2022)

1 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Star Jacked

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

This woozy, self-indulgent — and, to be honest, overly familiar — story about an obnoxious music star, played by Machine Gun Kelly — credited by his real name Colson Baker, fails to generate much interest or sympathy, except for maybe those who are forced to endure him.

Famous recording artist Cole (Baker) is on top of the world, and yet his life seems to be falling apart. He's separated, and his daughter has visited for the weekend, but he barely saw her except for when he was drunk and passing out in his swimming pool. He has also lost his special quartz stone, which he believes carries all his good energy.

His assistant Ilana (Maddie Hasson) works tirelessly to keep him on track, but he occasionally escapes to buy drugs, fights with her, or is too zonked out to listen to her. And businesspeople are constantly bugging him to deliver his new music or participate in some kind of advertising. He calls on singer Lena (Naomi Wild) to lay down some guest vocals, and they seem to be a success. But can Cole find his quartz and get his life back in order to finish his record?

Many, many movies have told stories of the pitfalls of fame, and the fast-paced, self-destructive nature of the rock 'n' roll lifestyle, and, indeed, it just seems irresponsible for a Millennial like Baker to not have had some warning. Watching him go through all this stuff in Taurus, and generally being a jerk most of the time, is very hard to forgive, given that he probably should have known better. Moreover, it's hard to know what keeps an assistant like the Ilana character — who is quite likable — coming back for more abuse.

Writer/director Tim Sutton keeps Taurus feeling either off-kilter and unfocused, as if on a drug bender, or hazy and sickly, as if hung-over. It's not even a rise-and-fall. It's a flatline, going from one disconnected event to another, and featuring very little music (Cole works on one song throughout the movie) and never offering much in the way or hope or suspense or even despair.

When Cole offends and pushes away a fan who just wanted a photo, he suddenly becomes enraged and rushes off on a drug bender, and nothing is learned. It's just emptiness, and it ends perhaps the only way it can, with a thud, a fall off of a cliff. Scott McNairy provides some color as a record executive who, wearily, seems to understand the soullessness of the business. And Baker's famous girlfriend Megan Fox appears in a scene as his ex.

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