We have found another contender for the best film at Sundance 2010! It won’t make you cry, it has no great message, and it probably won’t change your life, BUT in the midst of all the drama and tears, sometimes you just need to laugh out loud for 90 minutes. Thankfully, director Eli Craig‘s comedic masterpiece Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil starring Tyler Labine, Alan Tudyk, Katrina Bowden and Jesse Moss made it to the screen this year to add some much needed humor to the mix.
The film is about two hillbillies, Tucker and Dale who head up to their dilapidated cabin for a “vacation.” On their way into the woods, they run into a group of young, attractive colleges kids and Dale unintentionally gives them the wrong impression. After a misunderstanding, the group thinks that Tucker and Dale are murderers and attempt to kill them before they get killed themselves. Cue the comedy…
From the very beginning, Craig establishes a ridiculous, horror-esque tone and keeps it going strong until the credits roll. While other films play with genre and meld comedy with drama, this film has one mission – to make you laugh. It’s there for pure enjoyment without trying to ever be something that it’s not. Without falling into the Scary Movie trap where they cross the line from clever to stupid, the film perfectly balances its mockery with its own type of intelligence.
While walking out of the theater, I heard a few people talking about how they thought some of the performances were too over the top. I could not disagree more. The entire film is over the top, everything that happens is based off pre-conceived notions and an absolutely ridiculous premise. If any of these performances would have been in a drama or another film that wasn’t as concentrated on stereotypes than, yes, they would horrible, but within the context of this movie they were all ridiculously perfect.
The only thing they could possibly changed is quick little “news” clip at the beginning. It’s not that it’s bad, it just feels a bit tacked on, like an afterthought that doesn’t add anything to the story, in fact it may actually take away from it. The only reason to pick on this scene is because just about every other aspect of this film is damn near perfect and this was at the very least unnecessary. That being said, this is a minor faux pas in a film that is nearly flawless and meant to be enjoyed not absorbed.
So my advice to you, go see it, sit back, and have fun!
- The Comedy – Perfectly over the top and enjoyable
- The Acting - Across the board there were a lot of good performances, but both Tyler Labine and Alan Tudyk are amazing.
- The Choices – Every film is about making choices and this film made all the right ones. It was clear on its purpose and delivers on its promise.
- The Opening Scene - Again, not because it’s bad, it’s just not needed.