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Monday, May 23, 2005

Review: The Anarchist Cookbook DVD

Any movie involving anarchy that's not unequivocally insulting and mocking is a bad one because this brand of youth idiocy and adult cretinism shouldn't be encouraged. The Anarchist Cookbook is a bad but not that bad film with decent performances but uneven writing filled with situations beyond improbable to truly impossible. I’m not the type to not like a joke because I know a dog can’t drive a car, but some of the whimsical scene endings and coincidences contrived by writer/director Jordan Susman fall so flat they should end with the sound effect “Wa wa wa waaaaaaaaaaa!”

Anarchy is about Being Against for its own sake. It’s not pro-anything because Bad Is Good overrides all their slogans and rationalizations. Anarchists always smile when they say what they’re “for” because they know they're lying. My question is this: if anarchists declare war against society, why can’t society fight back? Is it because most of them are little rich kids? Is it because people who claim to obey no laws would sue in a heartbeat if their rights were infringed? It’s funny when it’s not sad.

Puck is the central character of a film inspired by SLC Punk, Fight Club, Trainspotting and Suburbia. He’s supposed to represent the conscience of the film but all in all he’s too much of an asshole to be likeable. The film takes such a dim view of people who actually work for a living they show Puck and his rasta-Stimpy pal Double D stealing from a poor and obviously physically handicapped street vendor. This passes for wacky fun. They show yuppies from 1983 or something throughout the movie. Odd.

John (No Reasonable Offer Refused) Savage plays a hippy and he’s good, but the diary thing was badly conceived. Dylan (Don't Call Me Angel) Bruno is also good as a pathological nihilist. All the major players are good, but some of the speaking and especially all the non-speaking extras are below amateur.

The Anarchist Cookbook annoyed me in the beginning because it presented idiot anarchist dogma as fact, spewed in excited voiceovers. It settled into a workable pattern of humanistic discourse broken up by acts of stupidity and bad storytelling. The ending sure pissed off the anarchy kids! Wa wa wa waaaaaaaaaaa!

For some real laughs read the user comments at the IMDB. Here's one now from Sammy: "I guess my missive is directed at the other people who have seen it and at the other people who DARE TO WATCH IT WITH AN OPEN MIND (a cardinal sin in this day and age)." He titled his review "Too smart for today's dumb audiences". To Sammy, and to all the kids, I say this: Smash the state/before you graduate/then you gotta get a job/and it's too late!!


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