Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Day 130: Donnie Darko

Ranking on IMDb Top 250: #126
Year: 2001
Director: Richard Kelly
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal and Jena Malone

Should I really do consecutive posts about cult science fiction movies about time travel that I can't stand? Probably not, but I'm about to. Although, to be fair, next to Donnie Darko, 12 Monkeys looks like Citizen Kane. Hell, next to Donnie Darko, Darko Milicic looks like Orson Welles. I can't even describe my feelings for this film without sounding like a third-grader. What I want to call it is "stupid" and "bad," because it doesn't even have any of the necessary qualities to earn a more fair-handed criticism. It's a childish movie made for people with childlike minds for film who want to be intellectually stimulated on their level, and who want to have something ostensibly highbrow to wear on their Hot Topic-bought t-shirts. In short, Donnie Darko tries way too fucking hard. It's probably guiltier of that offense than any other movie I've seen.

Call me lazy if you must, but I'm not going to dignify this movie with a plot summary. The plot is just too asinine. The performances aren't any good, either. Part of me is annoyed with how popular this movie has become and how zealous its fans are, but part of me just wants to know what it is they're seeing. Perhaps I'm wrong and they aren't just simpletons who got their minds blown by something extremely un-mindblowing (Inception, while great, suffers from the same phenomenon), and there's something great about Donnie Darko that just didn't click with me the first time I watched it in slack-jawed disbelief that it had a generally positive reputation. I'm just not sure I'm willing to watch it again to find out.

And yes, I know this blog post will go down as one of my worst. I just can't dedicate 800 words to something I hate without coming off as an enormous douchebag – which fans of the film probably think I've already proved myself to be.

The Good: Am I going too far if I say nothing? Because I'm going to.

The Bad: Probably the post-production that is still finds itself in. I'm constantly baffled by how much people want to talk about this movie like there's anything to talk about.

The Skinny: Might be my least favorite movie on the list that I've seen thus far.


  1. Yeah, I didn't find this movie attractive either. I didn't hate it - it received 6/10 from me on imdb, but most of the top250 movies tend to land in my 7-8-9 scale, so yeah, I can agree that it is from the lowest end and it would never cross my mind to put it on top 250 list. A letdown overall.
    One of my recent letdowns was Benigni's Life is Beautiful. Don't know if it was because of the dubbed version, but most part of it was quite annoying and was hard for me to understand what is it doing in top 250, let alone top100. Maybe others find something else in it.