Let me take you to a wooden planet. Far out in space, imagine a giant satellite inhabited by monks. A medieval cathedral – almost a mile high – dominates the skyline. It’s surrounded by wheat-fields. In the distance there are windmills turning. This was to be the setting for Alien 3… if director Vincent Ward had had his way. I, for one, would have chopped down several trees to see it happen. But sadly, fate (and a management re-shuffle at 20th Century Fox) killed the project. Alien 3 was shifted to a space gaol. Vincent Ward moved on. Now, he has a new movie about his native country. It isn’t set on a wooden planet, but it still has Ward’s touch.
A few years ago, while staying at a London hotel, Kiefer Sutherland attacked a Christmas tree. He did it because he was drunk. He did it because someone bet him. And he did it because life is only lived once. Men need have drunken adventures. In times gone by, men sailed the high seas drunk, they went into battle drunk; in the case of Ulysses S. Grant, they even commanded armies drunk. Today, we live in a macro-biotic, cubicle world, far removed from the wild exploits of our forebears. But we still have drink. And men like Kiefer. The new comedy, The Hangover, is a paean to drunken debauchery. Ulysses S. Grant would have loved it.