Reviews

Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Tripper

Director: David Arquette
Writers: David Arquette and Joe Harris
Starring: David Arquette, Jason Mewes, Lucas Haas, Paul Reubens, Balthazar Getty, Courtney Cox
MPAA Rating: R
Running time: 93 min
Country of Origin: USA
read my spoiler disclaimer



reviewed by Andrew James
at Toronto After Dark Festival

      From the warped mind of David Arquette, you might expect some surreal experience with odd humor and off the wall experiences. When you take into consideration the plot synopsis: a Ronald Reagan clad psycho is the buzz kill at a hippie music festival when he starts offing them one by one; you might think this will really be something new and exciting and well worth checking out. It's not.

      The familiar faces of the usually type-cast and character actors within the cast make for a bearable and a slightly more memorable experience. Unfortunately the bulk of the screenplay is so inept and inane that it hardly matters. Most of the hippie-love, sex and drug jokes never hit home on any level. This is surprising as I would have thought bringing Jason Mewes (Jay from the Clerks/Kevin Smith world) on board would at least provide for some higher caliber laughs and jokes that "cross the line." Alas, it doesn't seem to have helped.

      The brightest spots in the actor category include the sherriff Buzz Hall (played by Thomas Jane) and Paul Reubens' character as the festival director. So Reubens provides some nice comic, albeit vulgar, relief as well as one of the most disgusting scenes I can remember in recent memories. And although Thomas Jane is at least interesting to watch on screen, really what can you do with the typical town sherrif who just wants to get through the weekend.

      Many might argue that the point of the film isn't really a slasher movie. It's more of a political statement or satirical. If that's the case, it's not really all that original and certainly a far too juvenile for my tastes to really be funny. For example, the name tag on a local farm pig is George W. Wow. Hilarious right? Nothing like that has ever been said before. This isn't to say it's one big republican bash. There are plenty of jabs at the liberal side of the aisle as well, but these are equally inane and contrived.

      The last hope for the film should've been the star of the show: Ronald Reagan. Unfortunately he's completely incorrectly and under used. Reagan was such a memorable, quirky and arguably iconic president that I could think of literally hundreds of ways his little sayings and Reagonomic vision could have been exploited for laughs and/or interesting kills. But Arquette just gives Reagan a couple of really lame lines that don't work at all. The audience just looked on with blank stares at the screen as Ronnie axed another tree hugger and then moved on with barely a glance at the camera.

      The Tripper has an interesting premise and could have been executed far better by a more experienced director. Arquette is a rookie who needs a lot of polishing before I'd be willing to pay for something more from him. With unmemorable characters (aside from maybe Paul Reubens) and lackluster kills, The Tripper is nothing more than a Friday the 13th film; but instead of a hockey mask, The Gipper mask is donned which sounds fun, but is completely fumbled by ineptitude.

Press "PLAY" to watch the trailer


Links:
IMDb.com - full cast and crew
Official Site
FLIXSTER profile for The Tripper







andrew@moviepatron.com
Posted by Andrew James in
Review

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