Kalifornia is a hard-hitting thriller with psychological aspirations, but ultimately fairly limited insight. What it does offer, however, is a clever setup in which two contrasting young couples embark on a cross-country trip to visit massmurder-sights and find new beginnings for themselves. The character relations and the underlying thriller element are interesting, and writer Tim Metcalfe provides bits of great dark comedy, but the film gradually develops a cynicism which director Dominic Sena should have balanced sooner, and which isn't accounted for artistically other than through Duchovny's insipid voiceover. The misanthropic nature of the finale doesn't convey a message on its own, if it is about something, then we are talking meta-level, a provocative quality which Oliver Stone also sought the year after with Natural Born Killers. The question is whether you as a viewer are content with being provoked or watch violence unfold. Kalifornia's best asset is the actors, with Pitt giving an explosive albeit borderline caricature performance, Duchovny and Forbes providing level-headed equilibrium and Juliette Lewis excelling in a perfectly fashioned role as a simple-minded rural girl-child - a logical successor to her Danielle Bowden in Cape Fear.