Movie Reviews (such as they are)

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Very Bad Things

Very Bad Things stars Christian Slater, Jon Favreau in slimmer days, and the lovely Cameron Diaz (right).

I've had this one one sitting waiting for my attention for quite a while, with me looking for the right moment -- i.e., a moment when Wife falls asleep on the sofa or goes to bed early, because it was always clear she had no interest in watching it.

I knew very little about this film other than the initial accident that leads these lives to spiral out of control. I had heard, though, that it was not very good and that it was "sick", to quote one of my friends. Thing is, saying something is "sick" isn't exactly going to put me off, especially given who said it.

Wh'appen: Five guys go off on a bachelor weekend in Vegas, baby. A call girl joins them in their suite, and she ends up dead with a coathook in the back of her neck. Oops. What to do -- call the police and fess up, or stuff her in a suitcase and bury her in the desert? The boys choose the latter, and that's where things start to go wrong...

My twopenn'orth: The scene in the hotel room with the hooker is quite grisly. It's not that it's particularly gruesome in what you see; more that you can sort of empathize. We all know how a coathook feels, so we can relate in a different way to when we see people getting shot or hacked up. So it's unpleasant. And it gets more so as the scene progresses. Indeed, there is an all-pervading sense of unpleasantness, even once you realize you are watching a very dark black comedy. As it veers ever more into the farcical, however, all I kept thinking was, "This is like a Joe Orton plot but without Orton's wit." Wit is what is lacking. Instead, we are treated to screaming, shouting, and expletives. And while I'm a big fan of screaming, shouting, and expletives, they are no match for the wit of Joe Orton.

What's the scores, George Dawes? I give this movie 56 points, more for story than delivery.