Legendary filmmaker John Milius is not a name very many people are familiar with. Despite the lack of name recognition, you have probably seen several of his films. Apocalypse Now, Red Dawn, and Conan the Barbarian are three of his biggest contributions to Hollywood. The documentary that bears his name, Milius, gives us a look at his life and the caricature he sometimes was.
What You Will Like:
Milius was an outrageous larger than life personality that came into the film industry at the same time as Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. Milius was the rebellious one among them. Often toting guns and strange attire, Milius was different from his peers.
At times it can be hard to believe a guy like Milius was able to get into Hollywood. His behavior was that of someone who should have been shunned immediately. Thanks to his talents though, particularly in writing, he was allowed to get away with almost anything he wanted to.
What made the film special are the people who were willing to sit down and talk about him. Milius had some powerful and famous friends and many wanted to give him their time for the film. Spielberg and Lucas were heavily featured in the film as were other recognizable faces in Hollywood like Harrison Ford and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The film’s pace works well and just about everything you would want to know about Milius is covered, including why he seemed to disappear from the spotlight.
What You May Not Like:
For a simple documentary like this which relies heavily on interviews filmed years apart, it’s hard to really be spiteful about anything. Unless Bryan Singer’s inclusion along with more legendary directors eats at your skin, there’s not much to dislike.
If you are interested in a career in film, you may also feel a sense of jealousy. Milius did a lot of what we are told not to do and still managed to have a successful career in the industry. Keep in mind he came around at a time when, as pointed out in the film, there were only three film schools in the country. Anyone who wanted to get into filmmaking at the time and had the talent were nurtured and given the opportunity to shine. Film students in today’s world, they have to hope their bloodline links closely to Michael Bay.
Who Should See It:
Milius is a film anyone who has seen his movies should watch. Furthermore, anyone who enjoys unique real-life characters that helped shape society would find enjoyment in this film.