Electric Slide is the “real life” story of a charismatic bank robber, Eddie Dodson, who one day spent so much money on drugs that he went off and robbed banks to buy some more. Along the way he attracted a deeply unsettled young woman, and led her into his lifestyle. The one thing he had going for him was his charm and dapper personality, which this movie has stunningly counted by making him as dull and lifeless and annoying as possible. What a feat.
I quite like Jim Sturgess, and he does a good job normally of playing young men dissatisfied with urban life. However, almost hidden under his garish outfits, he seems out of place playing the central role. If this film had a higher budget its quite possible that Johnny Depp might have breathed some life into the gentleman bandit that this film seeks to explore, but as it is, the performance is rather flat and boring, and does nothing to counter how upsetting this man is as a human being.
The film seems partly homage to the ‘80s and partly a homage to LA itself, and the gritty real life struggle of its soulless, commercialized inhabitants. Why this would make for a good film however, is beyond me. The biggest problem seems to be that this film doesn’t really do anything with purpose. Bonnie and Clyde is a story about forbidden love in a criminal world, Public Enemies and various other gangster films have captured the stories of larger than life Robin Hood type figures in America. This movie just stumbles around for a while before ending.
Electric Slide seems to be a paean to the most unfortunate elements of the 1980s. And while there’s probably a deeper point in there, it simply does not work when all the characters are so unlikeable and easily hateable. Something like the Wolf of Wall Street manages to get across the excesses and decadences of that era in an entertaining and satirical way. This film does not, and is extremely forgettable.