Viewport width =
May 18, 2009 | by  | in Film |
Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter

The Wackness

Go see The Wackness. I recommend it because it has the best compiled soundtrack in years. I knew practically every song in this movie and they are all good. The first 20 minutes alone treated me to KRS One, A Tribe Called Quest and Raekwon. I could write a whole review based on the tracks in this movie—they are all perfectly selected. Not only was there my favourite hip-hop song of all time, Souls of Mischief’s classic ‘93 ‘til Infinity’, (not Wu Tang’s ‘C.R.E.A.M.’, although it’s in there too) but also one of my favourite Neil Young songs, ‘Out on the Weekend’. Neil Young and Wu Tang in the same film? Trust me it works. Right, now the film itself.


The Wackness
is set in 1994, another reason I liked it. People bag the 90s but I look back on them fondly and I can tell director Jonathan Levine does too. The physical setting is New York and the narrative is framed by one sweltering Big Apple summer. Ben Kinglsey plays Dr Squires, a pot-smoking psychiatrist who exchanges appointments for weed with teenage drug-dealer Luke. They form a bond, which is complicated when Luke falls for Squires’ stepdaughter. The characters are the stereotypical; alienated-youth and aging-adult-unhappy-with-his-lot .

Josh Peck is very likeable as Luke. Channelling looks that are a mash of Leo Fitzpatrick and Michael Pitt (although, this may be just because of his side-part) he makes a great troubled teen. I wasn’t sure how to feel about Kingsley, but I did warm to him, especially after he gets some great lines (when Luke says he’s depressed, Kingsley asks “…has this got something to do with Kurt Cobain?”). Look out for an excellent drug-fuelled beach scene, when the disconnected psychiatrist dispenses some of the best advice I have ever heard.

Levine has made a well-meaning film, which I think people will enjoy. As a writer his dialogue is solid and even when it becomes ‘cheesy’ he at least makes his characters reference the fact. The Wackness does suffer from strange fantasy sequences, and I have seen similar alienated-youth-falls-in-love films before. This said, Levine balances the comedy and the drama brilliantly and provides satisfying resolutions. That not enough? Method Man plays a Jamaican drug dealer and Mary-Kate Olsen a wasted Hippie. Dope.

Written and Directed by Jonathon Levine
With Ben Kingsley, Josh Peck, Famke Janssen.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter

About the Author ()

Comments are closed.

Recent posts

  1. VUWSA Responds to Provost’s Mid-Year Assessment Changes
  2. Te Papa’s Squid is Back and Better Than Ever
  3. Draft Sexual Harassment Policy Consultation Seeing Mixed Responses
  4. Vigil Held For Victims of Sri Lankan Easter Sunday Attacks
  5. Whakahokia te reo mai i te mata o te pene, ki te mata o te arero – Te Wharehuia Milroy Dies Aged 81
  6. Eye on the Exec – 20/05
  7. Critic to Launch Hostile Takeover of BuzzFeed
  8. Issue 10 – Like and Subscribe
  9. An Overdue Lesson in Anatomy
  10. Astral Rejection

Editor's Pick

Burnt Honey

: First tutorial of the year. When I open the door, I underestimate my strength, thinking it to be all used up in my journey here. It swings open violently and I trip into the room where awkward gazes greet me. Frozen, my legs are lead and I’m stuck on display for too long. My ov