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   VERY BAD THINGS (1998) 

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CAST
Christian Slater
Cameron Diaz
Daniel Stern
Jon Favreau
Jeremy Piven
Jeanne Tripplehorn
Leland Orser
Joey Zimmerman
Kobe Tai

DIRECTED BY
Peter Berg

PURCHASE


DVD




Time: 111 mins.
Rating: R
Genre: Black Comedy


I was actually looking forward to seeing this movie. I like dark comedies and after a weekend inside I wanted to see something that made me laugh, that made me glad I was at the movies. All this film made me was sick. Sick at the thought that the filmmakers believed they created something worthwhile and funny. Believe me, it's not. The first step to making a film that has so many repulsive moments in it is to have a lead character that is good, decent and worth watching. Otherwise, all those gross, disgusting, inhuman things your characters do make the audience feel horrible. There is no one normal in this film to relate to. Furthermore, the idea that everyone would behave like this with the right set of circumstances is abhorant.

Certainly, given the way society is today, the premise of this film could probably actually happen. Five guys throw a bachelor party, imbibe lots of drugs and alcohol, hire a stripper/hooker to entertain, only to have one of them kill her accidently during sex. All believable and, up to this point, has some funny moments. However, once they "take care of the problem", the film takes a drastic downhill turn. Slater, playing an adult version of his HEATHERS role going on an out-of-control murder spree killing anyone who tries to expose their terrible secret. The film becomes so angry and unfunny, you don't know where to look to escape.


"Allow me to be the first to say that what we have done here is *not* a good thing. It's definitely not a good thing. But it was, given the circumstances, the smart play."

Guilt causes these life-long friends to turn on each other. Everyone starts to fall apart in their own way and all they end up doing is screaming and arguing with each other. This may be what would really happen, but is it funny? Entertaining? Not for one minute. I have an idea of what Berg was going for, but he doesn't get even remotely close. This plays more like drama than satire. You don't like a single one of these guys and frankly, I was glad when they started disappearing for good. Diaz has some funny moments as the fiancée who's waited and prepared her whole life for her wedding day, but she turns evil as well when it looks like the boys are going to ruin her plans. Though she was fairly obsessive about her big day, I really don't think she would turn to murder because things weren't picture perfect. Maybe this is one of the moments that was supposed to be funny. At least she got Slater to shut up. I was so tired of his useless, rambling speeches that said nothing in an attempt to justify his evil actions. How about this idea: when making a movie, have a point.

There may be some people out there who think this is funny. I'd hate to meet them in a dark alley. Violence has a place in movies, and is sometimes funny (see FARGO), but chainsawing people in a hotel bathroom in order to hide the evidence is not innately a laugh riot unless it has a reason to be. There are no good reasons given here. This film is a waste of a highly talented cast that should have known better. There are moments when I hoped it would pull out of its tailspin of brutality. In the end, it leaves nothing behind but bitterness for the characters and the audience.



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