RFK is envisioned as a rock-star Jesus sent from on-high to save America from its social and Vietnam hell in Bobby, a multi-character period piece set in the Ambassador Hotel the night of His assassination that mainly reveals writer/director Emilio Estevez’s fondness for PT Anderson and Martin Scorsese’s oeuvres. Overstuffed with tracking shots unimaginatively modeled after the camerawork of the Goodfellas and Boogie Nights auteurs, the film is a preachy, liberal-courting slog, its mini-dramas superficial and stereotypical, its coincidences contrived, and its aggressive, starry-eyed idolization of the titular would-be president a frail attempt to remind contemporary Americans about a war-torn time when compelling leaders promised real hope. TV and audio clips of Kennedy – including his MLK eulogy – are strewn throughout to bolster the myriad narrative threads with a mournful “paradise lost” vibe, the effect instead being to merely drape everything in elegiac pretentiousness. Slushy, clichéd storylines abound: Ashton Kutcher’s hippy gets a couple of squares high on LSD (replete with the sounds of Jefferson Starship and Vietnam bombing hallucinations), Sharon Stone’s betrayed salon worker confronts her cheating husband (William H. Macy), Lindsay Lohan’s selfless beauty marries Elijah Wood so he won’t be sent to ‘Nam, and Freddy Rodriguez’s kitchen worker learns from a friend that “Mexicans are the new niggers,” an opinion countered by a typically wise Laurence Fishburne as a fruit cobbler-baking cook. Through these and other go-nowhere plots, Estevez proves himself neither an accomplished writer nor director – nor, as his performance as the emasculated hubby of Demi Moore’s drunken lounge singer confirms, much of an actor either. Hollow and facile, the film is high-minded gibberish populated by the one-dimensional and wrapped up with a finale in which nearly everyone wends their way to the fateful kitchen and half find themselves on the receiving end of Sirhan Sirhan’s history-changing bullets. The real tragedy is that so many of Bobby’s nobodies survive.