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Slackers (2002)
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Review Date: January 30, 2002
Director: Dewey Nicks
Writer: David H. Steinberg
Producers: Neil H. Moritz
Actors:
Devon Sawa as Dave
Jason Schwartzman as Ethan
James King as Angela
Plot:
Three long-time buddies make a habit out of cheating the system. They lie, they plan and they do whatever they need to do, in order to achieve their goals. One day, a creepy nerd gets wise to their shenanigans and blackmails them: he will get them kicked out of college, unless they hook him up with the girl of his dreams. The boys have no choice and follow the nerd's orders and fun...I assume, is supposed to ensue...
Critique:
Above all other faults which this film possesses, its distinct lack of energy is what struck me the most. The flow, the rhythm, that thing that sets a movie in motion and keeps you moving along with it, was just inexplicably absent here. What wasn't missing was a scene featuring a man sitting naked and alone in his dorm room with a sock-puppet over his penis, playing sing-a-long. Is that funny? Well, to me, it certainly wasn't and neither were this maroon's "hilarious" burps and farts, the scene in which one of the leads gives an old whore (literally) a tittie sponge bath while slipping her the finger or the other few over-the-top sexual sequences that had little to do with the story, but obviously inserted into the film to get some laughs. And did they? Well, me no think they funny. And a lot like the exaggerated scenarios in FREDDY GOT FINGERED, I suspect that the few people who did smirk in our audience, laughed in that nervous "what the hell is this all about" kind of way. I didn't. In fact, I barely snickered through this entire movie, and to me, that's generally not a good sign of a comedy. Add to that, the fact that the "story" is utterly predictable, relies on that dreaded "very easily resolved misunderstanding" to throw a wrench into the proceedings near the end, has an incredibly annoying and unfunny lead (Shwartzman) and very little oomph in any of its scenes, and you've got yourself a prime puppy for the lower shelves of your local video stores in a couple of months. And should you even bother checking it out then? Nah!

I mean, Devon Sawa and one of his buds, Jason Segel, are probably the only interesting actors in this film, and James King (that's a girl, man!!) was a hoot to stare at for an hour and a half (although the girl should think about slapping some burgers down her throat...), but other than the couple of semi-interesting cheating scenarios (already shown in the trailer), this movie just dragged along with very little life or vigor. In fact, it's one of those movies, that about halfway through, made me think of walking out while not giving half a shit as to what happened afterwards. And was it me or was Schwartzman's character shown to be a little too psychotic, to the point that it was just downright disturbing? (pouring candle wax all over your hands and masturbating to a hair-doll?) And how (or why?) would anyone be able to walk into a final exam, bring everything to a halt, sit and explain their concerns to someone, while everyone else in the classroom, waited for this person to finish?? Yeah, yeah...I know it's only a "movie", but c'mon!! Give the audience some credit, man! Anyway, I guess there was an interesting script in here originally (when it was titled, the more appropriate, CHEATERS), but folks seem to have hacked away at it (the editing is also off) and turned it into a bad Canadian attempt at an American college gross-out flick, with a love interest? Chalk this one up to a dud, through and through. BTW, the mofo who wrote this baby apparently came up with the "story" for AMERICAN PIE 2, so you do the math.
(c) 2016 Berge Garabedian
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