Tusk (Review)

tusk_ver2I 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

About OGR

While I try to throw a joke or two into proceedings when I can all of the opinions presented in my reviews are genuine. I don't expect that all will agree with my thoughts at all times nor would it be any fun if you did, so don't be shy in telling me where you think I went wrong... and hopefully if you think I got it right for once. Don't be shy, half the fun is in the conversation after the movie.
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