Bad Movie Club: Double Down

2005 Neil Breen movie

Bad Movie Rating: 5/5 (Josh: 5/5; Fred: 6/5; Libby: 4/5; Johnny: no rating)

Rating: 2/20

Plot: I already wrote about this movie right here, after we Bad Movie Clubbed it less than a year ago. I guess we're obsessed with Breen. My plot synopsis the first time can't be improved upon.

I didn't really know what to say about this movie the first time I watched it, and I don't really know what to say about it now. Sure, there's a lot of pretentious bad art out there, but I don't think anybody does it like Neil Breen. As I typed in the Bad Movie Club thread after watching this, the movie is like a collaboration between David Lynch and Tommy Wiseau. It's such a weird effort to fart out an artistic statement with all these angst-filled excursions, clumsy symbolism, and this fragmented storytelling. Nothing about the movie works, and that, my friends, is what makes it so deliriously spectacular.

There's part of me that believes this is all an elaborate scheme, that it's supposed to be a comedy. But then I see the 1 1/2 facial expressions that Neil Breen is capable of having, and it all seems so genuine. I think I've wrote this exact same thing before, but the beauty of Neil Breen is that he fails so brilliantly at every single aspect of his job as a movie maker.

As a writer/director: Breen fails to make human characters sound like human beings. Wiseau-esquely, he throws in an "I've got cancer" subplot that makes it feel like he's never engaged in actual human interaction. He writes a movie that has so much to do with technology, but I'm not sure Breen really knows how a computer even works. That's probably why they're not even turned on as his character pounds on them to redirect satellites or communicate with foreign governments or whatever the hell he's doing. That aforementioned fragmentation only works to further confuse the viewer, and I'm not sure at the end whether Breen's character is supposed to be good at his job or terrible at it. Or if he's just a lonely guy having a nervous breakdown in the desert. He spends most of the movie's tedious narration bragging about how good he is at subterfuge or whatever and then manages to screw up multiple times, including a lengthy hilarious scene where he assassinates the wrong people.

As an actor: Oh, my God, nobody does it like Breen. There's no way he had a chance to convince us that he could be an action hero as he darted around the desert hills in his mom jeans and a wife beater (though I might have been convinced if there were more scenes with him wearing the denim vest with medals), but you'd think a guy who's been an actual human being (allegedly) for 50 years or so could convince us that his character is a human being. Nope, not with Breen. His timing seems all off, he has no rapport with any other character in the movie, he doesn't even really have rapport with his surroundings when there are no other characters on the screen, and those 1 1/2 faces don't effectively show even one emotion.

It's not that anybody else in the movie is better. I think he found most of the other actors and actresses who end up in this movie at a real estate convention. Notice the parade of old guys in suits telling the camera that we need to move to level red or level orange or whatever. It's so inept that it's impossible not to love.

This will have your mouth agape for the duration, but my favorite scenes remain the following:

1) That pool scene. My God, that pool scene! Everything about that scene is so wrong that the whole thing becomes the most perfect movie scene I have ever seen.

2) A scene where he's eating tuna while driving and spills some in his lap. I'm sure your Jack Bauers and Ethan Hunts of the world have spilled food in their laps, but the directors of those t.v. episodes and movies don't have the genius to show the audience.

In case you haven't noticed, Neil Breen has become my personal favorite bad movie person. If I were to sculpt a Bad Movie Mount Rushmore, I'd put Neil Breen's face on the side of the mountain four times. He's that good. Or bad.

I've now written inadequately about this movie twice. Words just fail me when trying to put my thoughts about Neil Breen's movies in writing.

No comments: