It’s exciting to see Shyamalan on such confident footing once more, all these years later.
When you get right down to it, "The Banger Sisters" is pretty thin, but you grin while you're watching it. Later you reflect that it has an obvious story arc, sketchy minor characters, and awkwardly tries to get down and provide uplift at the same time. The screenplay could have used an overhaul before production, but I'm glad I saw it.
I'm glad primarily because of Goldie Hawn. She's infectious and likable in this movie, but not in that ditzy way we remember. Although she plays a legendary groupie who, in her day, "rattled" most of the rock stars ("and roadies") in the business, she plays a woman who has taken her youthful sense of freedom and combined it with a certain amount of common sense.
Hawn is Suzette. Her co-star, Susan Sarandon, is Lavinia. Together, some (cough) years ago, they were such legendary groupies that Frank Zappa named them the Banger Sisters. Hawn has stayed true to her school, and as we meet her she's bartending in a West Hollywood club where she is more beloved by the customers than by the owner, who fires her. (She thinks that's not fair: "See that toilet? Jim Morrison passed out in there one night with me underneath him.") Broke and without plans, she points her pickup toward Phoenix for a reunion with Lavinia, whom she hasn't seen in years.
Along the way, in need of gas money, she picks up a lost soul named Harry (Geoffrey Rush), a screenwriter whose dreams have not come true, and who is traveling to Phoenix with one bullet in his gun, to shoot his father. Harry is one of those finicky weirdos who doesn't want anyone upsetting his routine. The very sight of Suzette, with her silicone treasures, is disturbing in more ways than he can bear to think of.