Monday, October 22, 2012

'Scuse Me While I Whip This Out: "Wrecked" (2009)



I've said it before, and I will say it again- if you are a film maker, and can find actors who will do ANYTHING onscreen, including hardcore explicit sex, then why won't you give them a script that will serve as something more than an excuse to break out endless erection shots?

Ryan (Forth Richards, I think, since much of the cast may be working under pseudonym) is a young wannabe actor. He has landed his first part in a play, but his happiness is short-lived as former boyfriend Daniel (Benji Crisnis, I think) shows up. Daniel is a drug addict, but Ryan takes him in (again) anyway, hoping to change him since he won't change himself. Daniel immediately goes back to his old habits, including introducing Taylor (no idea who played him) into the relationship. Ryan's life begins to spiral downward, and the film ends with a scene you could predict before you even popped the disc in the DVD player.

The three leads get nude, often. The Shumanski brothers wallow in Ryan's filthy world; you can almost smell the stale cigarette butts and warm wine in his squalid little house. However, the Shumanskis let their willing cast down. Some of the scenes are obviously improvised, and watching the young cast try to smoke and talk like adults before shedding their underwear is embarrassing to sit through. I began to mistake Ryan's constant naivete for mild mental retardation as Daniel goes through his drug addict and casual sex routine and elicits only tsk-ing and rolled eyes. The direction is sloppy (you can spot a cameraman in a mirror in one scene, and dates on cell phones never jibe), the editing is fair, and the music makes no impression whatsoever. The Shumanskis pad the film with unnecessary shots of the dudes waking up, getting their bearings, and dressing.

Richards plays Ryan like a drag queen channeling Bette Davis. He smokes too much, and swirls his hands, but shows no real emotion beyond mild contempt. I didn't care about him at all. Ryan demands Daniel get a job, yet we never see what Ryan does for a living. Crisnis is bland, never offering any reason why Ryan would fall for Daniel over and over again, despite getting hurt every time.

The only scenes that almost work are Ryan's play rehearsals. The play, as presented to the viewer, is a disaster. The director obviously wants to take Ryan to bed, his chain smoking assistant hates the world, and one of his co-stars is one of those Brando wannabes who must stretch and do annoying preparation for this piece of garbage he is "starring" in. Trust me, I have a theater background, and a lot of this is dead-on. Plus, these scenes provide a break from all the cocaine snorting and gay sex.

"Wrecked" joins the sad list of sexually explicit films that fail because of the script and direction, and not the sex. Move over, "9 Songs," "Shortbus," and almost everything Larry Clark has ever done, "Wrecked" and its truth-in-advertising title is here. (*) out of five stars. Get this movie now!: Wrecked