He has the gift of the gab, and there’s no denying his yarns of working on the script for Superman Lives and trying to make a documentary on Prince are fascinating and funny, but I’m going to go out on a flipper here and pronounce Kevin Smith the most over-rated director of the past twenty years. I know he has a legion of fans, and I haven’t seen all of his movies, but I don’t care. I’ve seen enough of them to form a strong opinion.
It started with Clerks. I hated Clerks. I wrote a scathing review of it in 1994. I still stand by that review, no matter how many damn sequels he jerks off and how many damn Jay and Silent fucking Bob spin-offs he pisses into. But, surprise, surprise, his next movie, Mallrats, made me smirk. He may have even squeezed a chortle out of me. But that was it. The annoying-as-hell Chasing Amy followed, with the execrable Dogma after that. I vowed never to watch another Kevin Smith movie again.
Thirteen years passed and I managed to avoid movies such as Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Jersey Girl, Zack and Miri Make a Porno, and Cop Out. Then the announcement came that he was making a horror movie, Red State. The cast was alluring, the premise sounded promising. The movie was a complete cop out (pun unintended). I felt date raped.
So why did I watch Tusk? I guess I’m a glutton for punishment. Or maybe it sounded too surreal and absurd and gleefully disturbing not to give it a go. The reasoning behind the feature was curious: Kevin Smith and his podcaster co-host Scott Mosier were discussing an article about a Gumtree ad where a guy was offering free room and board if the lodger agreed to dress up as a walrus. After Smith and Mosier concocted a wild and oily yarn Smith announced to his Twitterits (read: followers) to respond with either #WalrusYes or #WalrusNo.
The result, due to overwhelming demand, was Tusk.
It fails as a comedy, and it fails even worse as a horror.
The best thing about Tusk is Michael Parks as the salty dog who lures the arrogant podcaster (Justin Long) to his peril. But he could read the bloody phone book and it’d be riveting. Sure, Genesis Rodriguez, as the thankless love interest, is great eye candy, but neither Parks’ acting chops nor Rodriguez in her underwear can save this barking, stench of a movie. When an uncredited Johnny Depp enters, half way through, as the cross-eyed French-Canadian detective with the wretched accent, the movie has reached rock bottom. But no, it actually pushes on through …
Justin Long in a walrus suit.
Now it has reached its nadir.
Somebody throw this man a rotten fish.