REVIEWED
9/5/04

STORY



LOOK




Donnie Darko
Director: Richard Kelly
Year: 2001
TRT: 1:23


Damn! Haven't seen this movie yet? Rent it. Now. Don't care who you are, what kind of movies you like, or you think the majority of the films I cover on the DMR are of "questionable" nature, this is a must-see movie for anyone. You may not agree with some of the ideologies or you may be left scratching your head afterwards, but it's still one of those movies that absolutely will stick with you afterwards. Great Fucking Movie.

How the hell to describe this movie? Donnie Darko is having a bit of trouble with his surroundings. He's a pretty smart kid, but apparently he's having some trouble adjusting. Sure, he's got friends and a good family, but his sleepwalking leads him on to troubled revelations. Mainly, that in 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes and 12 seconds the world will end, told to him by a large rabbit named Frank. Pretty bad trip to lay on a kid in high school, or anyone for that matter. And slowly the pieces of the puzzle fall into place, even if he doesn't realize it. Fuck, I still don't even comprehend all of it.

I must admit, I put off posting this on the DMR for awhile now, just because it's a very hard film to capture in writing, particularly when you're drunk. I've watched this bastard at least a half a dozen times in the past year, and I still get caught up with the story. It's one of those movies that's a bit odd, yet I think the majority of people that actually watch it end up walking away with something to think about at least, drunk, sober, or under whatever frame of mind you may be in while watching this film. Ultimately a product of the 80's considering the music used, but don't hold that against it, as it works extremely well if you take the time to listen to the lyrics of the songs. The film looks great, the story's well written, and every single one of the actors nails it (except for Drew Barrymore's part, which gets pretty hacked in this cut, but the deleted scenes give her a bit more scope; regardless, still warrants the double six-pack rating). Jake Gyllenhaal is absolutely perfect as the lead, especially when you consider the material.

I re-iterate my enthusiasm for this film. Watch it, you won't be disappointed. Of all the films I suggest to people, this one definitely gets the most positive response. Cripes, even my sister liked it, and she ain't too keen on many of the movies you see posted to the left. The "Director's Cut" is getting a limited release in theaters even now while you're reading this, so I suggest seeing it on the big screen if you can.

Great Scene: There's plenty to choose from, even from the quite extensive list of deleted scenes. But I'd have to say in the regular version it's a toss-up between the excellently cut "Sparkle Motion" performance/fire sequence and the ridiculous conversation about Smurfs. Who'd a thunk?