Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Darwin Awards DVD

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: DVD Features Fictionalized Accounts of Dumb Ways to Die

Anyone familiar with the endlessly amusing Darwin Awards knows that they have been presented posthumously since 1991 to individuals who have found the dumbest ways to kill themselves. It’s sad to see that a movie sporting the same name and purporting to present fictionalized accounts of the same incidents could be so unengaging and such an unmitigated flop.
The picture pairs San Francisco Homicide Detective Michael Burrows (Joseph Fiennes) with insurance adjustor Siri Tyler (Winona Ryder) as intrepid investigators of these curious fatal accidents. And their efforts at deconstructing each fateful turn of events are monitored by a fledgling filmmaker (Wilmer Valderrama) who tags along to make a documentary.
The Darwin Awards is essentially a series of disconnected skits having in common only the fact that each episode ends with the subject’s demise. Unfortunately, this macabre movie is marked by a fatal flaw, specifically, the fact that it’s based on more unsubstantiated urban legends than authentic Darwin Awards cases. This absolutely undermines the movie’s authenticity right off the bat, since you never know which reenactments really occurred and which were merely dreamed up for the sake of a Hollywood spectacular.
Even such an offense probably would’ve been pardonable had writer/director Finn Taylor at least created a plausible plotl to thread the tragedies together. But because he never bothered to come up with a credible sensible storyline, this flashback-driven snuff flick comes off as just a voyeuristic excuse to watch people die in different ways.
From the British couple who misunderstand the meaning of their RV’s cruise control button to the ice fishermen whose dog fetches a lit stick of dynamite to the loser who decides to test the strength of his high rise’s floor to ceiling glass window, The Darwin Awards is likely to find an audience only in those sickos titillated by gratuitous depictions of fatalities.

Poor (0 stars)
Rated R for profanity, sexuality, drug use and violence.
Running time: 94 minutes
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
DVD Extras: “The Making of” featurette, cast and crew interviews, plus several trailers.

No comments: