A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III
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A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III

Yet more louche douchery from Charlie Sheen.


A Glimpse Inside The Mind of Charles Swan III does as advertised, frequently devolving into flights of lascivious fancy inspired by the overactive imagination of an aging L.A. Lothario (Charlie Sheen). It also offers a glimpse of what a Wes Anderson film might look like without the director’s customary wit or heart, and it’s not a pretty picture.

Roman Coppola, who co-wrote Moonrise Kingdom and The Darjeeling Limited, has plundered Anderson’s meticulous, retro-inspired production design and penchant for privileged, self-absorbed protagonists, as well as his Rolodex of repeat collaborators (Jason Schwartzman and Bill Murray feature in supporting roles). But he crucially neglects the humour and emotional insight that mark Anderson’s best work.

Instead, Coppola gives us Sheen performing yet another riff on his train-wreck public persona, this time playing a superstar graphic designer in 1970s Hollywood. After his trophy girlfriend (Katheryn Winnick) calls it quits, Swan suffers a minor meltdown in an obvious nod to Sheen’s own “Tiger Blood” tailspin. What’s far from obvious, however, is why we’re meant to care. Like Charles Swan itself, Winnick’s character is fetching to look at, but also vapid, boring, and gratingly vain.