Saturday, July 4, 2015

Donnie Darko

What is the plot? In 1988, Donald "Donnie" Darko (Jake Gyllenhaal) has visions of Frank (James Duval), a mysterious figure in a bunny suit that only he can see. After saving Donnie from being killed by a falling jet engine, Frank tells them the world will end 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes and 12 seconds and to commit various crimes.
What is good? Some of the dialogue was pretty funny especially Donnie's speech about the sexuality of Smurfs. The film has interesting ideas presented. The special effects were good.
What is bad? Although many praise the story for being a mind screw, the story came off as a fairly standard narrative that poorly constructed. Despite being the driving force of the plot, Frank gets no development or explanation for his presence: incredibly basic information, like his motivation and what his abilities are, is denied to the audience. There are tons of filler. Extended sequences are devoted to explaining the science behind time travel, which Frank violates. A large chunk of the cast, such as Donnie's therapist Dr. Thurman (Katharine Ross), the teachers and pop psychologist Jim Cunningham (Patrick Swayze), are superfluous to the plot despite the latter being a main villain. The explanations for how this universe works don't work because they all get contradicted. For example, they establish you need a large metal object to time travel. However, Frank is able to time travel without one.
I know a lot of people like this movie and they are allowed to do so. However, I did not like it. I found the plot seemed incomplete. I give this 4 out of 10.

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