Kevin Smith is probably one of the most influential filmmakers that I look up to as an aspiring filmmaker. Clerks is one of my favorite comedies and honestly favorite films of all time, Chasing Amy is one of the deepest and most beautifully made movies I’ve ever seen and I honestly find Zack and Miri Make A Porno to be hilarious. While he maybe isn’t the greatest filmmaker, he’s an Everyman, super relatable and downright awesome. Tusk intrigued me from its trailer being released back in 2014 and I just kept putting off watching it for some weird reason. Kyle finally gave it to me and I have to say, while it wasn’t like my favorite film in the world, it is highly enjoyable and one of the most unique movies I’ve ever seen. I give Smith props for making this knowing how crazy and insane the plot was.
Tusk follows a podcaster named Wallace Bryton (Justin Long), a man who is kind of a terrible person. He only does things because he wants to be famous. This brings him Manitoba to interview “The Kill Bill Kid”, a teenager who accidentally amputated his leg with a katana in a YouTube video. When the interview doesn’t go according to plan, Wallace finds an advertisement in the bathroom of a bar stating the man who put it up has very interesting stories about his life. Desperate, Wallace contacts the man and drives to mansion of Howard Howe, a seaman who has retired and is stuck in a wheelchair. Wallace soon learns that his greed and lust for fame may have just put an end to his life as Howard has a strange fascination with walruses and wants to turn Wallace into one.
This film, if you couldn’t tell from my plot description, is bat**** crazy. The fact that this was even made goes to show the passion and dedication Kevin Smith has for it. You also see this in the way he directs it. This is by far Smith’s most cinematic and well directed film. Now look, Clerks is my favorite Smith film and Chasing Amy is still his best, but those films didn’t have this cinematic flare this one did. There’s an absolute sense of tension in a majority of the scenes that honestly had me nibbling on my nails and wondering what was gonna happen. But of course, sprinkled throughout the film is that Kevin Smith witty raunchy dialogue fans of him all know and love. The thing about that dialogue is it surprisingly fits really well in this film. When a scene has to be tense and disturbing, Smith smartly knows not to try and make ease any of that feeling, instead ratcheting it up to 100%. Some of the scenes in this film however had me laughing hysterically.
Justin Long as Wallace is probably his best work I’ve seen from him. Justin Long always has this charisma about him and even though he’s character is kind of unlikable for the majority of the film, you always identify with him. However, Michael Parks is the scene stealer in this film. He gives probably one of the scariest, creepiest and weirdest performances in a film I’ve ever seen. I’d probably compare this one with Mark Duplass’ performance in Creep. He was absolutely amazing in this film. There’s a detective by the name of Guy LaPointe that is played by a very famous and prominent actor and while I knew before hand who it was, not knowing and being surprised with it is honestly the way to go. Just know, he made me laugh my ass off each time he said anything.
The effects work in this film should be applauded for such a low budget. When you first see the walrus for the first time, it actually horrified me. A film like this with the silliest plot in the world honestly knew when to disturb you and it not come off cheesy, the suit is amazing looking. There isn’t an over abundance of gore in the film but it’s really cool and bloody looking when it shows up.
The main issues with the movie are pacing wise. I’d say that in the like 3rd, there’s a couple times where it feels like the film is stretching itself out a little bit and probably would of worked better as a 85-90 minute movie as opposed to a 102 minute film. Also, as much as I loved Guy LaPointe, Smith obviously enjoyed this character a lot that he sometimes feels like he’s used a little bit too much and his scenes feel a little dragged out.
Tusk isn’t a perfect film but it’s a immensely entertaining and sometimes downright disturbing film. I like that Kevin Smith went out and made a film that on paper probably shouldn’t work. He has a lot of passion and just does what he wants and I admire that so much.
Kyle’s Next Film:
The Place Beyond The Pines (2012)
I had just saw this film literally last week and I absolutely loved it! This is one of the coolest and most ambitious films I’ve seen. As a big fan of the cast, the acting in this film is flawless. Also, not knowing what the movie makes it that much more enjoyable!
Kyle unfortunately has seen The Place Behind The Pines which is a shame so I’ll go with my original choice for this weeks swap.