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The Darwin Awards
DVD disk
Aug 17, 2007 By: Mathew Plale
The Darwin Awards order
Director:
Finn Taylor

Actors:
Joseph Fiennes
Winona Ryder
Wilmer Valderrama

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
After being fired from the San Francisco Police Department, a detective (Fiennes) with a knack for profiling suspects takes a job for an insurance company in hopes of finding potential candidates for The Darwin Awards.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
The Darwin Awards, for those unfamiliar with the honor, are handed out posthumously each year to (according to the official website) salute the improvement of the human genome by honoring those who accidentally kill themselves in really stupid ways. As the movies protagonist, Michael Burrows (Fiennes) adds, The idea being these peoples actions are so moronic, theyre actually improving the gene pool by removing themselves from it. So what better movie than The Darwin Awards to bring together David Arquette, Juliette Lewis, Judah Friedlander, and Metallica, among others?

The idea itself is comedic, but its hard to make even a feature this short (94 minutes including credits) funny based on one trick. Many of the deaths (never thought I would have to say this:) just arent that funny, only producing smirks and faint chuckles due to the cameos. Chris Penn, in particular (in his final performancethe movie premiered at Sundance the day after his death), sparks an ear-to-ear smile as one of the dimwitted Darwin cases.

Fiennes is robotic as the paranoid detective with Monk-like qualities and the ability to sniff out both Darwin cases and what style underwear youre in, partnered with a cute, likable Winona Ryder after he is fired for botching an arrest while working for the SFPD. The two set off in typical road fashion, bickering and falling for one another along the way. Interfering in both the blossoming relationship and the entirety of The Darwin Awards is a mockumentary style (with Wilmer Valderrama behind the camera), which since its only used here-and-there, is more gimmicky than clever.

Director Finn Taylor has a limitless hoard of humor to work with as far as the Darwin Awards go, which date back to at least 1991. Instead, most of the depicted events are based on urban legends rather than the winners. Essentially a series of vignettes mixed with some iffy investigation scenes, The Darwin Awards doesnt have much in the way of plotbut hey, the soundtracks good.
THE EXTRAS
The Making of(5:41) is a short look at the production with cast/crew interviews. Nothing much to see here, folks.

Cast and Crew Interviews: Director Finn Taylor (4:48), Winona Ryder (0:49), Joseph Fiennes (1:51), Juliette Lewis (1:04), Julianna Margulies (0:18), Chris Penn (0:32), David Arquette (0:41), and Wilmer Valderrama (1:21) each sit down for individual interviews. Only half exceed a minutes length, so theres nothing here in the way of juicy gossip or insightful tales.

And rounding out the disc are a Photo Gallery and Trailers.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
The Darwin Awards, with its endless barrel of material, never quite reaches its full potential in the laugh department...the movie itself isn't that catching either.
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