I have read a couple reviews for Tusk. Some critics seem to have tripped themselves up while scrambling to conjure a point. I read that Kevin Smith was trying to draw parallels with how humanity treats animals. I read that Kevin Smith was having a crack at a ‘concept’ film about good and evil…
Purely on the strength of hearing that Kevin Smith was once again trying, I decided to watch the film.
…The truth is plain to hear for those who bothered to wait through the credits; Smith and some guy did a podcast where they brainstormed a concept of a guy who tries to turn a guy into a walrus.
That’s. Fucking. It.
This is the work of a tired artist responding to twitter pandering. The resulting film is cinematic click-bait. ‘Come see Kevin Smith turn a man into a walrus’. Popcorn is (much) extra.
The film has Wallace (Justin Long) playing a podcaster who interviews the weird and wonderful in a style best described as ‘inquisitive yet insensitive’. Put another way he’s a bit of a prick. When he arrives in Canada to find his interviewee (permanently) unavailable, Wallace thinks quick on his feet and responds to a note on a restroom bulletin board.
The note puts Wallace at the home of Mr Howard (Michael Parks), an eccentric elderly man with a spacious well appointed home and a story to tell. Many stories to tell…
And then Howard tries to turn Wallace into a Walrus. As he says in the last moment before the film guns the motor and heads the vehicle hurtling towards irrelevance “If you wish to continue (your life), you will be a walrus, or nothing at all”.
Well if this is what being a walrus is, I prefer the comparative bliss of non-existence.
Michael Parks and Justin Long share one good scene. Actually Michael Parks has one good scene, punctuated by Justin Long – who I ordinarily like – babbling away annoyingly. It takes place before the Walrus revelations, and therefore before I tuned out. Michael Parks was once attached to the Tarantino bandwagon, then for a while Robert Rodriguez borrowed him. Now it seems he wants to end his career as a credible actor, and he needs Kevin Smith to help.
The walrus outfit is frankly amateurish, which I kinda think is the point, and the over-acting of Mr Howard’s character is exacerbated by the arrival of another, even more over-acting, investigator played by Johnny Depp. One cartoon character is OK, two is a cartoon.
And it all goes on and on. The Human Centipede was rightfully loathed as being a one trick pony desperate for attention. Well Kevin Smith has used his fading credibility to cover over the fact that he has just created the Human Walrus – except he expects us to swallow the shit.
Final Rating – 4 / 10. #WalrusNo