In summary: Uncle Sam in a bikini, jumping on a trampoline.
I've been up in arms about this "sequel" since last Summer, back when people thought it was a joke, back when people thought it would never get approval, never figuratively vomit into a single eye, never exist outside of a few warped minds: director Chris Fisher's, writer Nathan Atkins' and producer Adam Fields', and the wonderful, potentially satanical members of 20th Century Fox's. Back when I believed it would eventually ooze out into the world. And on April 28, 2009 fire up your DVD players, because S. Darko is comin' to town!
S. Darko is bizarre. Dangerous. It's like unleashing a Frankenstein's monster onto the world. It wasn't written or directed by Richard Kelly, it wasn't shot by the same cinematographer, and it only features one actress from Donnie Darko, Daveigh Chase, who reprises her role as Donnie's sister for absolutely no reason. It's a desperate money grab, or a confused fanboy using up lots of free time and money which should have gone towards the prevention of movies like this.
When I rant about S. Darko I really rant. My face is bright green, I start foaming at the mouth, and it normally takes two hours to resuscitate me once I'm through. I'm not even that large a fan of Donnie Darko. I like the movie, but I never understood the way the emo and scene crowd's eyes gloss over anytime it gets mention. It's a good movie that doesn't need a sequel. Ever. In any form. At all. No way no how.
Donnie Darko is a film based entirely around the pay off at the end. It builds up to a finale. The conclusion is it. It's done. The story line is resolved. It is impacting. The whole film is a convoluted mess that leads you to grasp at straws to understand it, until the very end, where everything wraps up and no more need be said. It's a science fiction film, crossed with a bildungsroman, and it leaves no room for a sequel.
But they made one.
The sequel isn't a sequel, though. It has two characters from the first movie. It brings back Frank, the rabbit, and Donnie's sister. Which of those characters mattered to the first film? Frank. Why did Frank matter? Because he appears to Donnie, and drives the plot forward, and gets shot in the eye, and then, doesn't get shot in the eye, and never dies, and never appears to Donnie, because Donnie is dead, and Frank gets to live, and therefore Frank can't exist to anyone else in his ghostly rabbit form, because he never dies, and has no reason to travel backwards in time to tell anyone anything, or forward in time to tell anyone anything, because he's fine. He's just a lucky boy in a Halloween costume who doesn't get shot in the eye. That's all he is now. Yet in S. Darko, he appears to Samantha Darko, who he has no reason to see. He's still in his Halloween costume, when he has no reason to be. He's alive and well! And doesn't even know who Samantha is, because she never shot him in the eye after he ran over her girlfriend! AAAAHHHH! JHGHSFSDIOFOSIDFH!
That's not even my biggest complaint. That's my nerdiest complaint, but it isn't my biggest. Richard Kelly playing no role in the creation of S. Darko, and being openly against its success is the complaint which lords over the other complaints. The creator isn't in favor of this thing's existence. He's said "I haven't read this script. I have absolutely no involvement with this production, nor will I ever be." He doesn't own rights to his own characters for some reason. Big mistake, because this is what happens to them. They're massacred, and butchered, and brutalized beyond recognition.
The people who are actually handling S. Darko? Who are these people? Chris Fisher? The maker of Nightstalker? What the hell is Nightstalker? Has anyone even heard of that? And he's directed "Cold Case". Do I watch "Cold Case"? Does anyone I know watch "Cold Case"? No. And this Atkins guy. The writer. He's an editor. Almost all his past experience is with television editing. And working in the sound department. He wrote and directed his own short, and it's earned no love from any respectable critic that I can find. What is making these men throw this together?
And O, the trailer. What justifies all my rage. This looks like it would have been in better hands with the Sci Fi network. It has Jesse from "Saved By the Bell" warning people about spoiling children, it has comets or meteors or whatever space junk taking out big farm structures, it has a shot very similar to when Grandma Death is almost hit by a car, but this time with Samantha apparently in the road, and as mentioned at the beginning of this rant: it has Uncle Sam jumping on a trampoline with an American Flag draped over her shoulders, and in a cute little bikini. Oh, and a girl conjures fire in her hands. I wish there was a more educated way to put this, but my bountiful upsetitude leads me to ask it like this: WTF?!?!?!?!?!
Things could be worse with S. Darko. It could be getting a theatrical release. But the worst thing of all is that it was made, and will roam the earth alongside its inspiration, always being 500 times worse. Fuck you, S. Darko.
- Eric T. Voigt, Apparently Penelope Cruz Won Best Supporting Actress