While I was unable to attend a screening for Kevin Smith’s Tusk, I sent my colleague and trusted friend Tom Miller out to review this film. Here are his thoughts.
Imagine two film school students sitting in their dorm room one late night partying after a long day of classes. In a smoky, drunken haze they come up with ideas for the greatest movie ever!“I’ve got it!” One student says sitting under a citizen kane poster, “The guy turns him into a walrus! But we’ll shoot it all serious like!” “That’s hilarious, Bro!” the other student says before taking another hit off a makeshift bong.
Now imagine giving millions of dollars to these two students to make their genius movie. Probably not the best investment idea. Well that’s pretty much what happened when Kevin Smith came up with the idea for Tusk.
While finding himself funnier than any person ever should, the idea for Tusk was born during the recording of Smodcast. The idea itself is quite funny. I can’t help but laugh while the idea of Tusk is discussed during the initial podcast, but despite a large number of twitter fans voting for Tusk to be made into an actual film using the hashtag #walrusyes, it should never have evolved into an actual film. I suppose at this point Kevin Smith can do what he wants given his name fame but I have to say I miss the days of “little to no budget making dick and fart jokes while discussing the ideas of love, lust, lesbianism, and life Kevin Smith”.
Tusk begins with two men hosting a podcast called “The Not-See Party”. The podcast scenes are funny and mimic Kevin Smith’s real life podcast. One of the hosts, played by Justin Long, announces he’s going to Canada to interview the star of a viral video, leaving behind the other podcast co-host, played by Haley Joel Osment.
After making it to Canada and having his interview fall through Long’s character ends up at the home of a man played by the amazing Micheal Parks who has some serious issues involving a past encounter with a walrus. If you listen to Smith’s podcast or just have the internet you already know where the story is going to go. This is where Tusk really drops the ball. The actors do a stellar job with a pretty well written script but the directorial choices of Smith sadly fail.
Tusk could have been crazy funny. A serious take on a ridiculous plot is a difficult approach for a comedic film but it can work and it has worked. Yet, as I sat in a theater filled with people there were little to no laughs and though I chuckled once or twice I never found Tusk to be even remotely as funny as the podcast it came from. The lack of humor and forcibly inserted back story of the characters make for an annoyingly dull flick.
The editing choices for some of the back story scenes made me think Smith had filmed the entire movie and then randomly thought it needed more depth and after completing the film called the actors to shoot some extra scenes Smith could smoosh back into the movie.
I will say, the special effects are pretty great including the make up effects for the character Guy LaPointe. I didn’t know who played this character before seeing the film and kept second guessing who it was until I finally looked it up online once I got home.
So overall, good acting, relativity funny script, cool special effects, and some interesting cinematic moments shine through a flick that I think Kevin Smith really dropped the ball directing and editing.
If I watched it on Netflix I’d rate it two stars but probably throw it in the queue for a second viewing while hanging out with my stoner friends.