Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Film Review: S.Darko

A while back I had heard that there was going to be a Lost Boys sequel. Everyone knew what was coming. A straight to DVD re-telling of the original story with the obvious cameos by the "two Coreys". When it debuted, I rushed to watch it, and it was about what I expected. Although the producers of the film weren't aiming to make a masterpiece. The end result was a decent vampire movie which almost parodied itself. It wasn't bad!

So how would you go about making a sequel to a strange arty cult classic like Donnie Darko? You wouldn't. At least you wouldn't if you were writer and creator of the original film, Richard Kelly. He apparently wanted nothing to do with this turd. And who could blame him? When you make a confusing film with multiple interpretations, and then don't fully explain the premise, how would you follow that up? Perhaps the better route would have been to make a prequel of sorts and go a new direction.

Using just the characters from the original film really allowed them to go anywhere with the story. But producers knew that they had to capture the same flavor as the original film if they wanted to sell it to that 'cult following' group. The original film felt claustrophobic, paranoid, and creepy. Richard Kelly says that this represented his childhood fear of "the bomb". But the imitation didn't quite hit that same vibe. There were the same long running shots in a party with sped up and slowed down film. There was the whole haunting thing going on with future/past dead people. There was the flowing watery stuff running out of various peoples chests. There was very intentional and awkward dialogue.

This movie is a generic box of cereal. It's cheap, and it looks about the same, but it doesn't quite taste right.

There were so many things duplicated in this movie unnecessarily that it really didn't add up. Why the same soundtrack? Why the same low budget effects? Why find a guy who looked so much like Donnie Darko, and then cast him as some other random character? Why re-insert the whole "they made me do it" nonsense with new characters?

What this film demonstrated, is that nobody does a Richard Kelly film like the man himself. Which at least somehow lets me form a compliment out of an awful and unwatchable disaster such as this.

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