A New Film from Kevin Smith

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Tusk Review

What the Hell was that?

I walked out of the theater, accompanied by a friend. We looked at one another. We laughed. We smiled. We shook our heads. For several minutes we both failed to articulate what was right and wrong with Tusk. I'll warn you before the spoilers hit, but to understand whether or not this movie is good I have to explain how I felt after watching it. 

We knew going into it, this wasn't going to be a straight shoot of a movie. This is a movie written by the guy who brought us old favorites like Mallrats and Dogma. He writes dialogue-heavy, comedic films with a hint of drama. Now he was writing a horror movie with a premise that is as absurd as anything ever. Moreover, he wrote and made it on a dare from fans who responded to his inquiry with twitter posts saying #WalrusYes. Really. 

Walking out of the theater I recounted that I had laughed, hard, several times. Often times the laughter was at seemingly random times, with no real joke actually accompanying it. The absurdity and ridiculousness of what was happening would hit me and I would crack up. 

I didn't just laugh, I found myself drawn in during intense scenes. I saw a few shots and scenes where the cinematography really impressed me. I have very high credentials in cinematography, you see, um, I watch a lot of movies. Okay, I don't. But there were some damn good looking shots. 

The acting freaks me out, too. Why? Because I just kept assuming that at some point the actors would wink at me, reminding me that this film was indeed a joke. But they never did. The whole time, the actors, the shots, the approach, it was all dead serious. 

Warning, the spoilers start below

The surgery to turn Justin Long into a walrus, not only implausible, but hilarious. The only result funnier was the actual look of the walrus. The end result of how he looked made me chuckle and grin multiple times over. I really did enjoy it. Really. 

You know what actually got me to kind of get a bit freaked out during this movie? There is a creepy shot where Howard Howe is trying to teach the Walrus to swim and he finds himself staring at another dead walrus at the bottom of the pool. I knew it was coming, I could feel it. Regardless, it was creepy. Very creepy. So unbelievably unsettling. 

Finally, the walrus fight scene - pure cinematic genius. I know it was a joke. I know it was cheesy and horrible. I also know that I loved it.  

The more I think of this film, I can't help but kind of love it. I love it while hating what it is. It is like the bad movie classic, "The Room." However, the big difference was that the room was unintentionally horrible. This was not actually horrible. But it was intentionally horrible. Or was it? 

This film makes me want to gather some friends and show them. I feel like a small child, confused and excited saying, "Look at this crazy thing I just found." It's beautiful and ugly all at the same time.