I have a love/hate relationship with Kevin Smith. I think he’s a fascinating person and enjoy him very much as a speaker and cultural sounding board. Unfortunately when it comes to his movies, I’m not that big of a fan. I loved CLERKS, but everything else left me rather underwhelmed. That is all except for RED STATE, which I thought, was fantastic.
So coming off of the achievement that was RED STATE, I had high hopes for TUSK. I purposely avoided any trailers or spoilers but was quite aware of the out-there plot. I didn’t go in completely blind.
In this horror (or more accurately dark comedy), Justin Long plays hipster podcaster Wallace Bryton. He’s a rather unsavory character, which from my understanding was done intentionally so there was a certain comeuppance in his fate.
Heading up to Canada to interview an Internet sensation, Wallace is waylaid when things take an unexpected turn. Looking for a suitable replacement, he’s lured to the remote home of Howard Howe (Michael Parks) a seafaring adventurer, who has some bizarre plans for Wallace once he gets him in his clutches.
I promise not to ruin the fun but I will warn you that this movie is a tad “bat-shit” crazy.
I honestly don’t have a problem with movies like this. Absurdist humor has a time and place. My big problem is that it just doesn’t work here. I was so put off by the complete tonal problem of this film that I felt compelled to turn to complete strangers in the audience and ask WTF!
To make matters worse, there is a major cameo (more like a role) that joins the madness about 2/3rds of the way through and grinds the movie to a halt for a good 10 to 15 minutes. This is no joke. The A-list actor in question is almost unrecognizable under heavy prosthetics and a thick French-Canadian accent that unfortunately comes and goes. His inclusion in the film is profoundly odd and extremely self-indulgent.
There’s not much to recommend here as I found the movie frustrating to watch. Just because it’s weird, doesn’t mean it still doesn’t have to follow certain rules like theme and tonal consistency. It’s a hot mess.