Taurus is about a musician named Cole (Colson Baker, aka Machine Gun Kelly) who is looking for inspiration for his next project. Unsurprisingly, a dangerous mix of drugs, excess, and self-destructive behavior have consumed his life. It is a story that has been played out on screen and real life too many times. Does filmmaker Tim Sutton bring anything different to his film or is it just another movie about the trappings of fame?
Baker has already shown his acting range by playing in everything from comedies to Westerns, and casting him in the role as Cole brings an authenticity that the movie sometimes struggles with. Though it is easy to draw parallels between the character and the actor, Baker is doing more than just playing himself. There is a sense of frustration and hopelessness that goes beyond mimicry. Taurus may not be relatable, but the emotion is clear.
The production is another highlight. Great use of lighting and camerawork add to the chaotic atmosphere that is Cole’s life. Nothing is ignored as all the dangerous highs and painful lows are shown. Most of it has already been seen before, but the commitment from both Sutton and Baker to show the out of control nature of Cole’s life is commendable.
It is a shame that the writing does not carry the same weight. Baker puts as much as he can he into the role, but the script only gives him so much room to operate. Yes, the wild mood swings are there, but there is not much depth to the character. It is clear what type of person he is supposed to be, but there is little clue given as to why the audience should care. This also goes for the many people who are in Cole’s orbit. They are simply not fleshed out enough to be anything other than ex-girlfriend, collaborator, or manager. Add in a plot that has no direction and an over the top opening and Taurus becomes just as lost as its main character.
Taurus is in theaters, On Demand, and Digital November 18
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