The most surprising thing about this comedy is that it's not very funny, but then it's not meant to be. This is a trippy odyssey into the mind of a drug-addled guy who thinks the world is falling apart around him. Sure, it's fitfully amusing, but it's also harrowing and utterly bonkers. And there are some moments of sublime emotion in there too.
Dan Fogler stars as Warren, a 33-year-old unemployed graphic novelist who is haunted by dreams about the world ending on 21st December 2012. But there's another date approaching much sooner that has him even more shaken: his wedding to his rather too-hot fiancee Karen (Kelly Hitchinson), who is trying to get pregnant as she plans the big day. Then in a peyote-induced stupor, Warren becomes convinced that he has been given some sort of psychic insight into the apocalypse, and asks his best pal Balance (Yang Miller) to help him make a documentary film about the strange events going on around him. And things get very strange indeed.
Written and directed by Fogler and Michael Canzoniero, the film flickers back and forth between Warren's luridly coloured drug trips and his even more jarring lucid moments. Every scene is packed with existential chatter, like a Woody Allen movie for potheads, while the tone swings wildly between dark drama, broad slapstick and even a couple of zany musical numbers. Which is appropriate for a film set in the mind of a man who isn't always sober. It's not easy to watch this slobby nice guy lose his mind, but there are observations along the way that add strong resonance.
Yes, this is an audacious film about urban panic: worrying about growing up and settling down, and also about the effects of societal paranoia. The performances are strikingly down-to-earth, with an improvisational style that provides both hilarious gags and razor-sharp insight. A parade of A-list actors in one-scene roles adds to the interest (Anne Hathaway pops up as a sassy ninja, Topher Grace watches helplessly as Fogler's agent). And even though several sequences feel indulgent and pointless, the movie captures a feeling everyone can identify with: that the world is teetering on the brink of anarchy. And the salient question is whether it really is possible to change the collective consciousness.
Run time: 98 mins
In Theaters: Friday 9th May 2014
Distributed by: Xlrator Media
Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 8%
Fresh: 1 Rotten: 12
IMDB: 4.0 / 10
Director: Dan Fogler, Michael Canzoniero
Producer: Stuart Braunstein, Luke Daniels, Thomas Michael Sullivan, Carlos Velazquez
Screenwriter: Dan Fogler, Michael Canzoniero