If you see only one lunatic-serial-killer-turns-his-victim-into-a-man/walrus-hybrid movie this year . . . I guess it'll have to be Tusk. Of course, that's assuming they don't move up the release date for I Am The Walrus Maker.
Or, you could stick a rusty-bladed Sawzall up your ass and flip the switch, which would be a marginally less painful experience.
With his eleventh feature film, Kevin Smith proves beyond a five o'clock shadow of a doubt that his career is unfolding Benjamin Button-style. Each of his movies is more fucktrocious than the last. After hitting it big with Clerks back in 1994, Smith famously pissed off Roger Ebert by saying that he couldn't wait to sell out. Well, get on with it already you blubbery fuck! At least it would be something new. Tusk is basically a kidless Jersey Girl by way of The Human Centipede and shows about as much growth as a middle-aged midget.
Seriously, I know they say "Write what you know." but what kind of black hole of banality resulted in a moustachioed Justin Long playing a hot shit podcaster obsessed with pop culture who works with his best friend, Teddy (a super-sized Haley Joel Osment standing in for Smith's SModcast partner, Scott Mosier), and fucks a girl three galaxies out of his league, Ally (Genesis Rodriguez standing in for Smith's real life wife, Jennifer Schwalbach Smith)?
Say what you will about Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Cop Out and the rest of Smith's works up to now; at least they qualified as examples of semi-coherent filmmaking. Tusk, on the other hand, is two totally different movies stuck together with rubber cement and narcissism. For half of it, we're stranded in a Misery knockoff horror flick with Howard Howe (Michael Parks) sawing off legs and ripping out tongues between labored Smith Brand soliloquies. The other half is a would-be comedy that has a virtually unrecognizable Johnny Depp playing an Inspector Clouseau clone helping Teddy and Ally search for Justin Long's character, Wallace.
Get it? Wallace . . . the walrus. Hi-fucking-larious.
On set, Smith must have been in some fanboy, jeans-creamming daze, because it looks like the only direction he gave Depp was to yell "Action!" and, later, "Cut!" For his part, Depp is in weirdo cruise control mode, and for some reason not even Odin knows his French Canadian ex-cop sounds just like Jerry Lewis descendent Professor Frink from The Simpsons. I wouldn't have batted an eye if he'd suddenly let loose with an "Oy, my glavin!"
Much like Smith's last film, Red State, another pseudo-horror ass sandwich, Tusk is a late-career plea for creative validation. The problem is that, like Red State, Tusk takes an interesting premise and cocks it up like Evan Stone. Kevin, it may not seem like the "grown up" thing to do, but do us all a favor and go back to making silly stoner comedies. The world could use a lot more Jay and Silent Bob and a lot less Tusk.
Fucking Tusk. Man, I'm not even supposed to be here today.
September 21, 2014