Under the Silver Lake

Director: David Robert Mitchell
Year Released: 2018
Rating: 2.0

Sam (Andrew Garfield), jobless and lounging around Los Angeles, becomes infatuated with a neighbor in his apartment complex, Sarah (Riley Keough), so when she 'goes missing' he tries to track her down by 'finding meaning' in various symbols (Hobo code!) and numbers and 'underground societies' around town (he also discovers hidden messages in rock record lyrics) ... oh, and there's also a Dog Killer on the loose. I get what Mitchell is aiming for - about a paranoid society flooded with information and the attempt to 'make sense of it all' - but he misses the target by a wide margin: it's a loosely strung together group of concepts with no way to pull them together. Some of the ideas are inspired (the cereal box and the Zelda map! the Playboy cover!) and the skilled cast is truly 'down for whatever' (this includes Grace Van Patten, Riki Lindhome, Zosia Mamet and Topher Grace) but the issue comes down to cohesion and clarity, and there is no one steering the bus and everyone on-board is on edibles and it's heading off a cliff.