Oliver Stone's over-the-top satire on America's worshipful fascination with tabloid criminals stars Woody Harrelson as Mickey Knox and Juliette Lewis as girlfriend-wife Mallory Wilson. Commencing with the dual murder of Mallory's sexually abusive father (Rodney Dangerfield) and grossly negligent mother (Edie McClurg), the anomic couple take off on a three-week killing spree across the country, telling everyone who they are so that they get the credit for their crimes.
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The media are immediately enthralled with the couple, especially Wayne Gale (Robert Downey Jr.), the bloodthirsty host of a tabloid TV show who follows their every move. By the time they're finally arrested, they've become such huge media stars that the cops treat them more like celebrities than criminals. Even the maniacal limelight-hogging warden of the Batongaville State Prison, Dwight McClusky (Tommy Lee Jones), is in awe. Stone pulls out all the stops in the prison riot, as the unwitting Gale becomes an unwilling participant in his own broadcast of the event.
Again the director switches from film to video, from color to black and white, from sitcom parody to newsreel parody, and from one film stock to another, hoping to jar the audience out of its complacency with visual hyperbole.