Kevin Smith has done it again, folks, and this time he based his film, Tusk, off of a podcast. Well, I guess any idea that leads to someone in Hollywood doing something new is a good idea. But not only that, it’s said to be the start of his ‘North trilogy’, with Yoga Hosers as a direct follow-up, which can’t be anything other than a good idea. It is Kevin Smith after all.
But to the movie at hand, Tusk.
Wallace Bryton (Justin Long) who earns his living as a podcaster travels to Manitoba to interview a kid who cut his own leg off on Youtube but with this kid’s untimely death, Wallace finds Howard Howe (Michael Parks), a man who says he has some very interesting stories (hence the tagline; Let me tell you a story…) and being short of a subject for his next podcast, Wallace is eager to hear those stories. He goes off to this interesting man’s house for the interview and the man starts telling his stories, about how he met Ernest Hemingway during the war and how he was marooned on a rock with nothing but a walrus, Mr. Tusk, as a friend and next thing you know, he falls down flat on the floor, drugged. Apparently, this man has an entirely different agenda, to turn Wallace into Mr. Tusk.
The story in this film is really uncomfortable and weird, but at the same time it feels fresh and unused. It has some very interesting dialogue and the cast did their jobs brilliantly. Justin Long is magnificent (as always), and paired up with Haley Joel Osment (which was fun to see) in the beginning, well… yeah, that’s a good pairing, I have to say. Michael Parks plays his Howard Howe with just the same raw talent that we’ve come to know and love about his acting and he really brings out the psychotic look and Sociopathic mannerisms of his Howe with utter brilliance. Oh, and they even had Johnny Depp on board, even though he went under the name Guy Laointe. And no, it wasn’t another one of his Jack Sparrow-performances. This was actually the second time (first time being The Rum Diary) post-Pirates.. the actor really shows that he can act, not just mumble and stumble. Depp is also attached to Yoga Hosers as he’ll be taking on another stint as Guy Lapointe, which is cool.
Tusk may not have been your everyday-horror flick, and it may not have been the greatest movie of all time, but it is a Kevin Smith-film after all and where it’s not Dogma or Mallrats, you still feel the Smith-ness of it at times and it was without a doubt an entertaining watch. Definitely a ‘Stamp of Approval’. Oh, and even though the film didn’t do that great at the box office, it was directly responsible for Smith getting funding for Clerks III, and that is nothing but sheer Awesome!!
Check out the trailer for Tusk right here…
That’s it for now, I think. I’ll be back soon with something more geek-worthy, with the upcoming Superhero-flicks and the year ahead of us in comics, but until then…