Fubar (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner18/05/2004

OPENS FRIDAY 21st MAY

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 77 mins

Occasionally amusing comedy, let down by the fact that its “subjects” are extremely unsympathetic characters.

This Is Spinal Tap has a lot to answer for – these days it seems like you can’t move without some ‘Mockumentary’ or other showing up either on TV or in cinemas. Sometimes it works (The Office) and sometimes it doesn’t (The Calcium Kid), and Fubar, unfortunately, doesn’t quite work.

Ill-Advised Mockumentary On Canadian Headbangers

The title derives from an obscene army acronym (Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition). Ostensibly it’s about “documentarian” Farrrel Mitchner (Gordon Skilling) and his ill-advised decision to make a film about two Canadian Headbangers: weasel-faced Dean Murdoch (Paul Spence) and his stupid friend Terry Cahill (David Lawrence).

The two men spend their entire time listening to heavy metal music, getting thoroughly wasted on cheap beer (which they only ever drink via the ‘shotgunning’ method) and, more often than not, ‘beating up’ inanimate objects. (Possibly inspired by Harmony Korine’s Gummo – the only film ever to make you feel sorry for a chair).

The characters themselves aren’t particularly likeable or funny, so what humour there is derives from their various pratfalls, although this quickly wears off as the same joke is repeated several times over. It is funny when Mitchner eventually cracks and attacks them both, but this isn’t really developed properly. Instead the film takes an unusually serious turn with the introduction of both a tragic accident and Dean’s development of testicular cancer.

Gives The Game Away Before First Scene

Unfortunately, the film announces itself as a work of fiction with a title card before the opening credits, thereby robbing the film of any impact it might have had – it’s for this reason that the supposedly serious side of the plot just doesn’t work. Also, developing testicular cancer doesn’t make Dean any less stupid or any more likeable, although he does look amusing without his ‘hockey hair’ mullet.

That said, there are a couple of good sequences, particularly the scene where they run into their old drinking buddy “Tron” (Andrew Sparacino) who has distanced himself from them because of his nagging girlfriend - they arrange to meet up for a drinking session and when Tron doesn’t show, they attempt a drunken retaliation with aerosol cans. Dean’s dodgy poetry (“Woman Is A Danger Cat”) being lovingly read out by his mother is also fairly amusing.

In short, Fubar is something of a missed opportunity – if they’d put as much thought and effort into the script as went into creating the characters, it could have been a lot better. In fact, they could have learned a lot from American Movie, a real-life documentary with similar characters who were equally deluded and stupid but genuinely loveable with it.

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Content updated: 23/10/2017 03:25

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