Jim Carrey is uncredited. I wondered why. Then I watched the movie.
Thing is, I watched the first 20 minutes, then put it aside, thinking that my wife's sister's family, who are fans of edgy cinema and were soon to visit us, would be down for an aprés apocalypse mindfock like this.
They, like me, enjoyed the first 20 minutes. Hardly any dialogue (in a good way), some nice directorial flourishes, a more than adequate set up. Lots of promise. A good skeleton on which to put some meat.
A young woman is banished to a lawless territory in the desert, is kidnapped by what turns out to be a community of iron-pumping cannibals, has an arm and a leg amputated (and her wounds cauterized, presumably so that the rest of her can also be eaten or, you know, otherwise put to use), then manages to free herself and find her way to a place called Comfort where the people eat noodles and chicken instead.
I assumed what would follow would be a story of revenge and rescue, the goodies of Comfort taking down the baddies at the Venice Beach barbecue, maybe with some explanation as to how the people of Comfort get access to gasoline, photocopiers, rice noodles and all the recreational pharma you could hope for. (My guess was that there would be some connection to a group outside the lawless land, perhaps some sort of probably not-so-kosher arrangement between Keanu Reeves's Jim Jones knockoff and his inworld suppliers.)
No answers came. None.
Despite a severe underbite, Jim Carrey managed to chew what little scenery there was and he was still the best thing in the film by a long walk. The moment he hands Momoa a snowglobe was when I knew I wasn't coming back. The movie had left me in my own offworld without a clue where I was going or what would happen to me when I got there.
Loooong story short, the girl falls in love with Momoa's Atkins aficionado after eating some Guatemalan insanity peppers and tripping out like she ate a bad oatmeal cookie at a Grateful Dead concert.
There's some other stuff. A kid who likes spaghetti elbows more than actual elbows and who cries when her Daddy and her new stepmom eat her pet rabbit; a homeless philosopher dude played by Ribisi, channeling an amalgam of all those fidgety weirdos that Brad Pitt used to play; and almost no dialogue not spoken by Reeves, whose explanation of where his dookie go goes on for about nine minutes.
But it is bad enough to be a fun watch with friends who like movies made without scripts by people who can't make a movie without a script. Which is most people.
Seriously, I want to know the backstory to this debacle. My guess: Super-talented young director makes great movie, gets noticed, then gets one of those bags with the two dollar signs on it and access to Harvey Weinstein's rolodex while he's in the bath. But the movie has to be made in 10 days because Jim has a showing of his larger canvases at a gallery where people will hand him bags with two dollar signs on them because he's Jim Carrey, not because he's actually a talented sculptor and painter.
Or Jim shook the snowglobe and handed it to the director, saying (with only his eyes), "Before the snow has settled within, the script must be written."
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