Bad Johnson Movie Review
The central joke in this low-budget comedy should have been a springboard to something either blackly hilarious or more amusingly complex, but the filmmakers seem to have run out of ideas after coming up with the title. A likeable cast almost makes it watchable, but a steady stream of misogynistic and racist jokes continually undermine any possibility of engaging with the story. And the clunky filmmaking undermines everything else.
Personal trainer Rich Johnson (Cam Gigandet) is a wanton womaniser with a string of angry ex-girlfriends, one of whom knees him so severely that his doctor tells him to avoid sex for six weeks. Of course, this is the moment he meets Jamie (Jamie Chung) and has a spark of romance. Then after waiting the prescribed number of weeks he has a momentary indiscretion with a stranger, and Jamie dumps him. Refusing to accept responsibility, he blames his penis. And when he wakes up the next morning, his man-part is gone, becoming a separate man (Nick Thune) who's even more of a jerk than he ever was. So Rich turns to his colleague Josh (Kevin Miller) for ideas. And just as he begins to get used to life as a eunuch, he meets Lindsay (Katherine Cunningham).
It wouldn't have taken too much to get this lazy script into some semblance of coherence, but director Huck Botko and writer Jeff Tetreault simply can't be bothered. Neither seems to understand even the first thing about either sex or relationships, so they instead lay on heavy moralising preachiness in every scene while pretending that this is a gross-out comedy. But none of this works because the humour is played far too broadly and the plot is gibberish, leading to one of the most appallingly lame finales in recent memory.
Amid all of this, the cast members do what they can with the characters. Gigandet manages to be charming against all odds, and to generate some nice chemistry with the sparky Cunningham. Thune gets away with overplaying everything only because his character is a reprehensible idiot. Chung is wasted in an underwritten girlfriend role. But the worst thing is that, for a comedy about male genitalia, this film is clearly terrified of any hint of sexuality. It's so simplistic and squeamish that it feels like it was made by 13-year-olds who think they know it all, but clearly haven't a clue.