The much anticipated new movie from filmmaking genius Kevin Smith gets its theatrical release today.
Tusk is a movie born from two friends making fun of a classified ad they found online. I talked about the birth of the story in a previous post.
I was lucky enough to see Tusk the movie last night. There were a few Thursday night screenings around the country, and Smith and the guys involved with the movie encouraged people to tweet pictures of their ticket stubs. In return anyone who did that would get their Twitter handle in the credits of the DVD. I know to some of you that may sound lame, but I am a fanboy.
Anyway, here is my review.
This movie is the best kind of “what the fuck?”
We start off with very little back story. Just two guys doing a podcast and one of them leaving for a trip to interview some internet superstar up in the Great White North. Almost immediately our main character, Wallace (Wallace-WalRus-get it?), is arriving in Canada and we are treated to a hilarious scene with Harley Morenstein.
Yes, the guy from Epic Meal Time.
And take away the incredible performances by Michael Parks and Johnny Depp and Morenstein gives us the best performance of the entire movie. I have a suspicion that if he was given a larger role in the film he would have stolen the show.
Now, just like any Kevin Smith movie, Tusk has a lot of talking. A LOT of fucking talking. But it doesn’t matter that people don’t really move in this movie, because the dialogue fits the characters and tells us the stories that we want to hear. The stories that we need to hear to see these talking heads as three dimensional characters. Through a mixture of people talking and flashbacks of people talking we get a ton of back story and the characters take shape.
You may be going into this movie thinking that it is straight up horror, but it is not. It is not straight up anything except fucking crazy. The Apple guy slowly gets sewn into a walrus and when the reveal comes at just the right time in the movie it is part comical, part holy shit, and part “fucking disgusting” according to the woman sitting behind me.
Kevin Smith blends just the right amount of comedy, horror, and bullshit into a movie that would never be made by today’s Hollywood big budget douche bags.
There are a lot of easter eggs and inside jokes. At one point in Kevin Smith’s filmmaking career he was just recycling lines in his movies because they were funny. But the gags, jokes, and subtle (and not so subtle) nods to his fans are fresh and done with perfection. You do not have to be a listener to SModcast to enjoy this movie, but it helps when spotting things sprinkled in the movie.
At first glance the ending of Tusk the movie appears weak, and sort of…how you say…stupid. I mean, come on, he stole the final battle scene from Iron Man.
But, and this is where podcast listeners have the advantage, the final scene is done to near perfection. When Smith was kicking around the idea for this movie he and Scott Mosier were goofing about how the movie should end. Their pot induced idea translated to film exactly as they had envisioned it. For the non-listeners you can hear that brainstorm session played during the credits of the film, right after the closing song.
So was it a good movie?
Is Kevin Smith at a whole new movie making level?
Should you see this movie?