Not long ago, a movie came out that was so critically despised, so universally appalling, that it garnered this section’s lowest rating ever; half an eight-ball. Needless to say, I had to check it out.
The movie was Tom Green’s “Freddy Got Fingered” and after reading numerous “critiques” (if such shallow, meaningless blurbs can be called such), a definite collective thesis became apparent: the movie is insanely bad. However, another pattern emerged from the ocean of similar reviews I perused. They all tried to support their claim by recounting scenes from the movie that they thought especially bad, nearly all of which made me laugh myself silly.
How, I had to ask myself, could all of these reviewers be so clueless not only about the movie itself, but also totally oblivious to the fact that their reviews themselves were entirely self-defeating? So, it is no wonder that I was forced to break my long-standing utter disinterest in Hollywood’s numbing, sickeningly bad output by dragging my carcass off to the local Cineplex to see just what it was all about. After all, if all of these seemingly brain-damaged movie reviewers had condemned it so universally, it couldn’t be all bad.
In fact, it was pretty good. Tom Green has created a masterpiece not only in over-the-top gross-out humor, but also in true nihilist an anti-establishment wit. His character is utterly ill suited for the oppressive status quo of middle-class life, and this manifests itself in a total abandonment of all the values of composure, decency, and placidity that the established societal norms have thrust upon him. But instead of buckling under and accepting an identity that is not his own, he reacts with utter panic and hysteria causing the complaisant, dismal world he inhabits to crash around him for ninety minutes of destruction. All, appropriately enough, to an awesome punk rock sound track.
Despite the fact that one reviewer suggested that Green is living out some sort of “Punk Wannabe” fantasy in this movie, this movie is the most truly punk thing to happen on a national scale for ages. Just because Mr. Green doesn’t doll himself up in the anachronistic trappings of an obsolete subculture doesn’t mean he’s some kind of pathetic “wannabe”. This movie speaks to what punk once meant a million times more poignantly than the abomination that punk has become (i.e. bands Blink 182 and the other prep-punk bands of the day).
Truly, everything about this movie mocks and satirizes the most elemental conventions of the typical Hollywood movie. The clichéd relationships between Green’s character and his family are so beaten to death that it calls into question the very validity of the family unit. His brutish, alcoholic, domineering father (played ridiculously by Rip Torn) ostensibly provides the thematic tension for the movie, which is supposedly the struggle for Green’s character to “make his father proud”; a notion so hollow in the context of this movie that it’s role as the crux of the plot should shed, for the scrutinizing moviegoer, some light on the legitimacy on the rest of the outward themes of the movie.
One cannot judge a movie like this in the same way one can judge a conventional Hollywood movie, because it is utterly in a league of it’s own. Perhaps now I have stumbled on the answer to my initial bafflement about all those nonsensical reviews. These poor misguided souls who have found it their sorry lot in life to review the excrement that spews forth into out local theaters have had their compasses so irreversibly magnetized by the constant viewing and reviewing of the same types of bad movies that a film such as “Freddy Got Fingered” is totally beyond their comprehension. So they try to pigeonhole it as a “gross-out comedy” and in a daze of incompetence, slap together a senseless review to send off to the entertainment papers.