So the other night I headed out to see this here movie down the street. I was really tempted to go in on Fast and Furious III-- but I haven't seen I or II yet so I was afraid I'd be lost in the plot-- so I went with this anonymous Adventureland ether flick. Mainly, because it had the highest ratings at stupid Rotten Tomatoes (I'm losing trust in that site)-- and I assumed I'd get some flashback memories of my summer days spent at Rye Playland back in the day.
Here's some quickie Playland memories:
One time I was on the Monster Mouse which was a rickety rollercoaster that still had only seatbelts like on an airplane and once the clickies didn't want to click and the ride started going before I could say anything and I had to hold onto the straps supertight in each hand to keep myself from flying out into the parking lot.
The Old Mill was sort of the stoner flume slowride on a boat that you did at the end of the night. It was dark in there and some punk teenagers were hanging out in there drinking and scaring the shit out of everyone by jumping on their boats and screaming. There wasn't supposed to be live people in The Old Mill! And they weren't supposed to be screaming and rocking your boat!
I saw a chick puke everywhere after she stepped off The Rotor (which was that ride where you stuck to the wall). I remember it looked disgusting and she looked sad about it afterwards.
The Dragon Coaster was an old wooden rollercoaster and the main attraction. In the middle of the rollercoaster ride there was a Dragon's Mouth leading into a pitchblack tunnel. But the dragon was missing a fang and rumor was some kid stood up on the Dragon Coaster and hit his head on the fang and it knocked his head off. The head supposedly bounced down the girders and the neck kept spraying blood all over the people as the ride kept going. Awesome! (Anyway, that was the story behind the missing fang)
Anywayyy, I figured this flick would be some carnival movie about puking and nut shots and smoking weed and winning prizes from goofy carnies or and maybe we'd see some boobs or whatever. I had this movie all wrong. I guess I haven't been paying attention to the half-assed balldrop marketing. This movie is a weakling love story starring some boring douche whatshisface who looks like the spawn of Andy Sandberg and Mark Hamill or something. Michael Cera-Lite. Playing the overplayed stuttering awkward mumbling skinny teenager who gets the hot girl. You'd figure I'd like the idea of that considering I was an awkward mumbling skinny teenager... but whatever.
This hipster movie goes along and I kept teetering on the nod off -- but now and then something interesting would happen. Or something sorta funny would happen. And it would keep me awake and semi-alert for what seemed like five hours. The saving graces of this movie were the side characters. The Christine Wiig and the Bill Hagar from SNL both were fun. The other nerd was interesting. It was actually the first time I liked Bill Hagar. In the past, he's been a tough sell to me because he looks like a molester from the 70's. But for the most part the side characters kept this whole thing afloat.
In the end, I wondered if I would have dug Fast and the Furious more. At least that movie seems like it has some energy. This thing was energy draining. Because this movie just wandered around the scenery. The music. The 1987 amusement park. The goofy cars. And the ongoing tease that it would eventually kick into gear and start getting good. But it just sort of slogged along on it's own level of unconvincing cool. Slathering itself up in that land of too-cool-for-school-we're-such-dorks! like Rick and Norah's Infinite Playlist or whatever the hell what's her face who wrote Juno plans to pummel us with next. For me, this type of chick flick chockful of uberhip random musical references is getting way played. I get it. Lou Reed Lou Reed Lou Reed Lou Reed....I get it. You're better than me. Make me a mix...
Three Good Things About this Movie
- I always laugh when someone gets hit in the balls.
- I liked it when that dude arc whizzed all over the window.
- For nostalgias sake it was interesting emotionally-- sorta. I guess.
Three Bad Things About this Movie
- Ryan Reynolds is a douche. (Yes, I used the word douche twice in this
review and will try to avoid further douche in the future)
- The whole thing seemed rickety like one of those junky tea cup rides.
- It needed to punch itself in the balls.
All in all, I'm probably harshing on this movie more than I should. It had its moments. Maybe three. But the whole thing felt pretty cheapshot and lazy. Like it sacrificed being wildly fun for the sake of being respectable. But I'm not so closed off and grumpy to avoid being touched by Just Like Heaven playing over a bumpercar scene or the cheapshot tugger of Don't Dream It's Over soundtracking fireworks. Those initial guitar chords cut deep to the past-- when winning a stuffed animal was all that was an all-important goal and sneaking a joint into the Old Mill with friends was forever. But seeing that vibe up on the screen hipster tarted and marching around to Amadeus-- just seemed like borderline 80'sploitation.
Here's the soundtrack if you wanna listen and just skip the movie: