Here are some definitions as found on Urban Dictionary:
1) The act of lubing and slipping a 9-volt battery (perferably of the Energizer brand because they keep going and going) into one's own anus or the anus of an unsuspecting other while performing fellatio.... nope, this film isn't about that!
2) When a dog (or any animal or even an unruly spouse) has an itchy anus and proceeds to drag it on the ground to soothe the burning anal itch.... nope, not that either.
3) Method of sex wherein two are loving in a bathtub while employing a glow-in-the-dark rubber. Depending on where you call home - i.e. marshy locale - you may want to poop in the tub after eating something especially disagreeable to your intestines.... errr, no.
Okay so while those aforementioned scenarios are begging for the Hollywood treatment, I still have no fucking idea what ELECTRIC SLIDE is.
So lets just focus on the story. It is loosely based on the true crimes of Eddie Dodson, a flamboyant robber who held up over 60 banks in the course of a few months. With money owed to every crook in town he takes to the bandit lifestyle like a rockstar and becomes addicted to it. With the cops closing in, he grows even cockier until it all spirals out of control.
The film endured a long and arduous development with Ewan McGregor and Carey Milligan attached to star before dropping out when pre-production was taking too long. Jim Sturgess and Isabel Lucas stepped in and took over and as a consequence the creditability of the film suffered. I am a big Sturgess fan and I am, perhaps, more forgiving of his work than others. I enjoy his on-screen presence and would love to see his Hollywood status higher than what it is. Having said that, I honestly couldn't buy into his performance in ELECTRIC SLIDE. With a painfully feigned eccentric accent, he offers a performance that is better described as a caricature. He isn't helped any by the presence of Lucas, who is unequivocally one of the least talented actresses of a generation.
Thankfully their performances are given a nudge by three unexpected players. Patricia Arquette, Chloe Sevigny and Christopher Lambert lend their support and, while Arquette and Sevingny's roles are relegated to extended cameos, Lambert's turn as a ruthless crime boss is a welcome return to form. With his recently performance in the Coen Brother's HAIL, CAESAR! it is great to see him take to the screen again.
The early 80's period production design feels ever-so-slightly forced. With the blatant tackiness of AMERICAN HUSTLE and the confined restrains of THE KEY MAN, it alternates between being excessively indulgent to cleverly refined. The result of this is a mish-mash of ideas that never quite gel.
On the plus side, the soundtrack is excellent and the cinematography is inspired. There are lots of delicious tracking shots and wide angles set against infectious music that creates moments, which could easily be isolated as music videos. For its technical style alone ELECTRIC SLIDE has its merits. Had the performance been reigned in, and more attention been given to the factual aspects of the real life story, then we would have been discussing a very compelling film. Sadly, as it is, it misses the mark.
There is so much more to Dodson's story, such as his close friendship with Jack Nicholson, and his life could have made for a wonderful bio-pic.