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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Movie Review: Tusk (2014)

Have you ever thought about making a walrus? In September 2014, Howe did, he was just having a little trouble finding all the right parts.

Directing this 102 minute comedy, drama, horror is Kevin Smith.

Some of the cast is: Justin Long as Wallace Bryton, Michael Parks as Howard Howe, Genesis Rodriguez as Ally Leon, Haley Joel Osment as Teddy Craft, Johnny Depp as Guy Lapointe, Harley Quinn Smith as Girl Clerk #1 and Lily-Rose Melody Depp as Girl Clerk #2.

Podcast hosts and friends, Wallace Bryton and Teddy Craft, of the popular podcast show The Not-See Party find viral videos and make fun of them for their show.  After finding their next viral flick, the
Kill Bill Kid, Wallace decides he wants to travel to Canada and interview the kid made famous by the video. Unfortunately, after making the trip, Wallace finds out the kid has passed away. Still needing a story Wallace decides to look around Manitoba in hopes to salvage the trip. What Wallace finds is a man named Howard Howe that has a lifetime filled with stories. The story that traps Wallace the most is the story about... Mr. Tusk.

Well boys and girls, Kevin Smith has a... treat for us. It seems he has a film trilogy in the works for us, called True North,  and Tusk is our intro to it. Films two and three will be called Yoga Hosers and Moose Jaws (must be a Canadian thing). I guess it's a cool bonus, because we'll see a return of certain cast members in each of the films. Now, I don't know much about the third film, but the second one will have  Lily-Rose Melody Depp (daughter of Johnny Depp) and Harley Quinn Smith (daughter of Kevin Smith) and Johnny Depp reprise their characters, from Tusk,  in Yoga Hosers. After watching Tusk, I'm not sure I really want to see these characters get more of a spotlight role. 

Now, the film idea started on Smith's SModcast (episode 259) where he was discussing an odd article with a friend and from that discussion a hypothetical story was born. Wondering if the story would be something the fans wanted, Smith turned to twitter looking for the answer, and by the fact you're reading the review, guess what the vote was.
                                                  

I will say the story that Kevin Smith wrote up was interesting to say the least. If nothing else, the banter that Michael Parks does throughout the movie was possibly the best parts of the film. There is some witty writing here and there, but by far, this is not Smith's best work... at all. Yeah, I found the drama and some horror-ish qualities in the film, but I had trouble finding the comedy.

The playthrough was a bit dragging and slow, but thanks to the curiosity the film brings due to subject matter, I never lost interest in the flick.  Unfortunately, curiosity is the only thing it has going for it and once the story hits home and you find out what's going on, you're left with a slow dragging flick.

Between the special effects done by Beki Ingram and the visual effects by Michael R. Currie and Alex Rideout, things looked good, just not anything great. I especially didn't care for the way the walrus turned out at the end. You could see where they were going with the idea, but the finished product looked like a something you would see in a low budget flick. Now yeah the film only had a budget of 3 million, but I've seen films do more with less. 

The best part of the cast was Parks, then I'd have to say Long did the next best job. I have absolutely no clue why Depp would have taken part in this film and thought the character was pretty stupid, but having the Depp name in your credits works. So, congrats Smith, I guess it pays to make friends in the industry after all.

Overall, what I thought was a chance to enjoy Smith's work in another genre, didn't go so well. So, feel free to dodge this bullet, and if this is the path the other two films are going... I may just dodge those myself.

It's rated R for language and violence.

2 stars


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