Richard Kelly made Donnie Darko. This makes him awesome. However as we all know, sometimes peeps that are awesome, fail miserably to live up to expectations, and hence, become poop. The shoe size Richard left after the brilliance that was Donnie D is like huge bitches. But I had faith, after seeing some promos for this flick, I was feeling good about it. And now finally having watched it I can bring the wonder that is my thinking to you, my film viewing public.
First things first, is this movie better than Donnie Darko?... Hecks no, and the main reason for that is just the about of insanity in this film. However, its still pretty enjoyable, kinda. Okay so it's a lil' hard to explain. I well now try...
Movie star with amnesia (the Rock), and a porn star with world ambitions (Sarah Michelle Gellar), write a film script that may or may not be an actual account of the end of the world. Meanwhile the world, in an effort to get off the fossil fuels addiction, has developed a way to harness the motion of the ocean into energy (pure karma or something like that) that can power machines without needing to be connected. Also, the U.S., after a nuclear attack on Texas, is now in an Uber state of martial law (meaning we ain't got no rights, and soldiers are positioned on towers to subdue any threats). Lastly, at least I think lastly, a guy (Sean William Scott) impersonating his twin brother, in a plan to shoot back people, while in a cop uniform, and sway the election. Okay, I missed the whole underground movement against the whole new system, and Justin Timberlake as a disfigured soldier who now sings, and sells a new drug based on the whole "Karma" energy thing. And at one point there are monkeys...
Annnnnnnnnnd..... catch your breath... or blink, whatever. The plot is freaking crazy. I mean nuts, I almost wanna say I enjoyed how crazy it was because A) I had no idea what the heck was coming have the time, and B) It's very rare you see a movie weave such a tapestry of chaos... Ha! Tapestry of Chaos, know any metal bands needing a name... and onward we go.
The celebrities in this thing are crazy. Even the small rolls are known peeps. I mean 2 Saturday night live folks, Will Sasso, just a ton of people. I think I even saw Phillip Seymour Hoffman in a long ass beard at one point, but I didn't see him in the credits, so I could have just been high on this flick by that point. I wish that I could give you a neat, tidy, little plot summary, like I usually do. But I am not entirely sure I can explain it... Basically it all builds to the end of the world, and a new god? Something like that. But it was fun. It was fun. The actors have a blast in the roles, and I mean as much as I love Sarah Michelle Gellar, I am loving her even more. Although porno queen, and no nudity... I don't know.... anyway, I think I liked it... Pretty sure I did. I mean anyone that has watched Donnie Darko knows you have to watch it around three times to really grasp the whole film. And even then, if you haven't watched the directors cut, it might still be a little fuzzy. Well if "Donnie" took three, this will take at least 5 and three quarters.
One quick note, I do have a love for some of my fellow critics, and a very special place for Richard Roeper. I have always felt despite his being a bred critic, he still at least understood the loves people might have for certain films (i.e. see his two thumbs up review of "Jackass 2"). I watched his review for this film, and he trashed it. I mean the worst I have ever seen. Calling it a theft of two plus hours of his life.
This is a strange, complicated, insane movie. It will take some time to figure out. And even then it will probably mess with you. It is a worthy successor to "Donnie" and a lot of smiles to be had, including introducing the world to the term "cockchugger" ... thank you Southland Tales, if for nothing else, but for that. Destine to follow suit as Donnie. Get slammed by critics, bomb at the box office, and develop huge, drink, and drug loving following... well and a few sober folks. All you university/college kids... expect a friend to show up one night with a bag o whatever and telling you, "You gotta see this flick man, freaking crazy".
movie scale 3 out of 5 stars
cult status 3.5 out of 5 stars