Tuesday, October 07, 2014

John Dies at the End (2012)

Who's In It: Chase Williamson (Sparks), Rob Mayes (The Client List), Paul Giamatti (Planet of the Apes, The Amazing Spider-Man 2), Clancy Brown (Highlander, Carnivàle), Glynn Turman (Super 8), and Doug Jones (Hellboy).

What It's About: A young man named Dave (Williamson) tells a reporter (Giamatti) how he and his pal John (Mayes) developed supernatural powers and saved the world from extra-dimensional invaders.

How It Is: Freaky. Really weird. Not that that's a bad thing.

It's a kitchen sink movie with just tons of stuff thrown in. It reminds me a little of Buckaroo Banzai like that. There's time travel, alien invasion, a sentient dog, a meat demon, a sentient drug, teen romance, a one-handed girl, a flying moustache, a Cthulhu-like being with a cult of naked followers, a vengeful detective, a mysterious dude who keeps showing up in back seats of cars, the Tony Stark of mentalists, and lots of other crazy stuff more spoilery than I want to mention. Surprisingly, it all holds together in a convincing story. It has cult movie written all over it, and if you're a fan of Buckaroo Banzai or Big Trouble in Little China, you should check it out.

It's not perfect though and one of its biggest flaws is that all of the insanity revolves around a couple of pretty bland characters. Dave and John (not telling whether the title is actually a spoiler or not) are supposed to be just everyday slackers, but they succeed at that too well. They're not especially charismatic or interesting on their own and neither are their friends for that matter. There's a lot to like about John Dies at the End, but it needs some interesting heroes to make it great.

Rating: Three out of five awesome dogs.


Paxton said...

I actually started to read this book a year or so ago before the movie came out. I couldn't get past page 80. It's too much. Just so damn random and weird I didn't really get it.

I want to see the movie to see if I can understand WTF is going on.


Michael May said...

John keeps making phone calls to Dave from outside the time stream and for a while I tried to keep track of what he was saying to see if it all held together at the end. I gave up on that though, so I don't know if it would've been rewarded or not. I suspect not.

But if you let the movie just sort of carry you along without trying to stay on top of it, there's a lot of fun to be had. VERY interested in hearing what you think once you've seen it!


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