Sunday, January 27, 2013

John Dies at the End Movie Review - A Dark Comedy filled to the brim with personality

In John Dies at the End, Dave, John and their friends discover a new street drug called Soy Sauce that can send its users across time and dimensions. However, some people return as no longer human.

The short synopsis above, as trippy and crazy as its sounds, is exactly what the movie is about. In more ways than one, the movie is over the top bizzarre, features strange and uncanny humor and is edgy as much as it is crazy. It is also some parts cheesy and some parts silly but the best thing about it is that the movie knows it is that kind of film and delivers on that concept on all fronts. Well, at least during the first half.

One thing I have to say that really appealed to me in John Dies at the End is the incredibly well made opening scene. The first few moments grip you easily as you try to figure out what this movie is actually about. You get some elements of suspense and action with some drops of horror with a great big splash of crazy. The opening scenes will end and you can't help but say "What the hell am I watching? It's awesome!". Then you are given some more context about the whole gist of the story from which you find out John Dies at the End is really interesting and intriguing and you can't wait for everything else that happens in the movie.

The meat monster. Hilarious.
But sad to say it didn't hold on to the very intriguing philosophical and silly vibe it had going for the first half of the movie. I found myself quickly losing interest as the jokes and scenes became more edgy and the plot just turned in on over itself. It's basically about this new street drug that grants the users the power to see the flow of time and participate in the different dimensions. Then our heroes suddenly realize a supernatural invasion of the world will live in is quietly brewing and it is their job to stop it. The moment our heroes delved in deep into this important plot point is where I lost interest.

I love the questions and concepts posed by the movie like how a word we hear for the first time will resurface again within 24 hours. Another example is the amazing interpretation of time and space by an important Jamaican character and the scene where different types of meat converged to form one hideous but hilarious looking monster. It was themes and concepts like these that I was looking forward to in the movie but they never really delivered on those things. By the end of the movie, everything just went all out crazy which left a bad taste in my mouth. I wish they touched on the time aspect more and gave it more of a foundation since I thought their concept of time was really unique.

I just lost interest by this part.
The special effects though had a cheap B-rate charm to them. I love the fact that they didn't use CG whenever they wanted. They had a lot of practical effects which added to the movie's personality. And this movie is without a doubt filled to the brim with personality.

If you're a fan of over the top and cheesy jokes, genital humor and crazy stories then this movie is for you. However, if you are like me, who has some sort of imaginary limit to the craziness I can absorb then I still urge you to watch it. I am a very eclectic movie watcher and John Dies at the End was ultimately really fun but in the end it just wasn't for me.


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