Tusk (2014)

Justin Long in Tusk (2014)Tusk represents a kind of critical milestone for me, as the first film I found so unpleasant that I walked out of it. Admittedly, it wasn’t entirely Tusk’s foulness (punctuated by a particularly terrible cameo) that sent me from the cinema twenty minutes before its conclusion: the exodus of the group I was sitting with and my rapidly dwindling parking meter played some part. But I could’ve risked social seclusion and a parking fine if there’d been even a slender spark of inspiration in Kevin Smith’s latest, a kind of mawkish comedic take on The Human Centipede, except more walrus-y.

It’s impossible, then, to provide a complete review of Tusk, as I haven’t seen the complete picture. And it would be unfair to describe it as totally without merit – Michael Parks (as the film’s version of Dieter Laser) expertly navigates his overwritten monologues, and Justin Long’s pre-walrus character arc suggests that there’s a depth of self-loathing beneath Smith’s jovial demeanour. But these are thin rays of light illuminating a murky pool of congealed vomit from which greasy orbs filled with silly voices and awkward humour intermittently bubble forth. It’s best to avoid a film who’s chief achievement is triggering one’s gag reflex.

1 star

5 thoughts on “Tusk (2014)

  1. Wow, pretty scathing, but at least you didn’t get a parking ticket! I’ve been disappointed with Smith’s films of late but this did intrigue me. I’ll still watch it but I’m not holding out much hope.

    • I haven’t really been keeping up with Smith’s latest work, I’ll admit, but I was hoping there’d be a modicum of gonzo charm to this. Outside of seeing what Haley Joel Osmont looks like as a chubby neckbeard (and Justin Long as a walrus, I guess), there’s nothing to recommend this.

      • I think there’s something wrong with my internal hardwiring because that just makes me want to see it even more, if only to find out how bad it is. But maybe a free view on TV rather than a trip to the cinema, I guess.

      • Yeah, I think it would’ve been much more tolerable on TV. And I can imagine mocking it with friends over some beers and tuning out the really awful moments – it’s probably right on the sweet spot of so-bad-it’s-good if you’re in the right mood for it (I certainly wasn’t).

  2. Pingback: Sausage Party (2016) | ccpopculture

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