I am a huge fan of Kevin Smith’s. I am also a fan of Justin Long’s, but more so Kevin Smith. From Clerks (1994) to Red State (2011), including his stand-up Q&A sessions and books, he is just awesome. He’s apathetic when he speaks about his films, but he cares about what goes into them. So it goes without saying that I’d be dying to see Tusk since the day it was released. I don’t think it was shown in my local theatre, I checked many times only to find it wasn’t there, which was really disappointing so I’ve been waiting and waiting, but I found it at Ye Olde Movie Network!
It’s hard to describe what Tusk is about without sounding like a lunatic, but that’s really not that different from any other Kevin Smith film. How do you describe Clerks without sounding like you’re talking about the most boring home movie ever? It’s really difficult. “So you have this guy, Dante, right? And he works at a convenience store… and he gets called in even though he’s not even supposed to WORK that day… and so he and his good friend Randall goof off pretty much all day and then his ex-girlfriend accidentally bangs a dead guy.” ………yeah.
To be perfectly honest, Tusk felt like it was way longer than it needed to be. There was a lot of pointless dialogue between Justin Long and… well, pretty much everyone.
I mean, because I know it’s Kevin Smith’s film, I expected what I received excluding the overdrawn length. I expected a horror comedy starring slightly awkward but very funny Justin Long, Michael Parks, child star Haley Joel Osment and of course, the fantastic Johnny Depp. And we can’t forget the stars of the show, a brief appearance by Kevin Smith’s daughter, Harley Quinn Smith, and Johnny Depp’s daughter, Lily-Rose Depp.
Michael Parks’ performance is actually pretty creepy at points. His character is sort of reminiscent of his character, Abin Cooper, in Red State (2011), except a little less religious. Other than that, I felt like the concept of Tusk was pretty ridiculous. I mean, it was like… The Human Centipede but with walrus and only one human. I found myself zoning out during many conversations and scenes…
I did really enjoy Johnny Depp’s character, Guy Lapointe, but only because he was so ridiculous, not in spite of it. The whole film was spent wanting to be creeped out and to really be immersed in the experience, but instead I had trouble even focusing on the story. It wasn’t realistic enough to be engaging. I mean, you expect it to be ridiculous, but at the very least it has to be just believable enough to be scary, right? The walrus suit Justin Long was wearing looked like a suit… it definitely didn’t look like his formerly human body was crafted into that of a walrus. It looked hokey.
This is the first time I’ve really been disappointed by a Kevin Smith film (and no, I have not seen Cop Out… yet) and it’s a really depressing experience. I will continue to watch Smith’s future films of course, but I don’t think I’ll rewatch this one. Sorry Kev, it feels like I wasted an hour and 42 minutes of my day…