Sunday, February 10, 2013

You can't solve all the world's problems with a shotgun.

Putting my son to sleep the other night, he asked me if I was going to bed, too. I told him that I was going to stay up and watch a movie. He asked, is it that movie we've seen the preview for on T.V.? For whatever reason, he's insistent that I not go see A Good Day to Die Hard. No, it's not that one, it's something else, I told him. What's it called, Dad? Hmm...about that.

I didn't want to tell him, because two of the words in the title were going to require clarification, that I wasn't interested in, well, clarifying. He persisted, is it called Rainbow, Dad? No, it's not called Rainbow, kiddo. Not even close.

Hobo with a Shotgun is actually the direct opposite of a rainbow. Instead of being beautiful, serene and of-the-moment, this flick is an ugly, chaotic punch to the dick/loving nod to a long gone era of cinema. In fact, it's one of the ugliest things I have ever seen, film or otherwise. But, it's oddly beautiful, too.

Perhaps surprisingly, I didn't really enjoy the tale of a homeless man cleaning up the streets with a shotgun, despite being a fan of hyper-stylized, cartoonish violence. It simply didn't work for me, outside of a couple of inspired scenes and characters. Despite that, it's very clear that this film was lovingly created, as every frame is drenched in the depravity of the grindhouse flicks that obviously inspired it. Visually, it's striking. And relentless. But it's also kind of pointless, too.

Story qualms aside, let me just say that Rutger Hauer is the f--king man in this one. If he's not killing bitches, he's protecting them, all while chewing on, then spitting out every syllable of dialogue. It's a pretty epic performance for such a trashy flick. Looking over his filmography, it's clear he's kept himself busy, but the only thing I really knew him from was Blind Fury, which for some reason, I've seen a million times. Here, he's got working eyes and instead of a sword, a pump-action shotgun. He's a good dude, dealt a bad hand. And if no one else is going to do it, he's going to right some wrongs. And by right I mean shoot, And by wrongs, well obviously, I mean faces.

At 86 minutes, I didn't think it was possible to be too long, but in my (often incredibly wrong) opinion, this one probably should have been 15 minutes shorter. And it's not even that it drags either, it's pretty fast paced, actually. The thing is, I just didn't care about any of it. Sure, no one goes into Hobo with a Shotgun looking for the scene they'll use during the Oscars. But it turns out, there's actually a point where I'm all set with pressurized blood spurting out of a Canadian douchebag. I know, it surprised me too.

Not surprising anyone, is the return of the Yays and Boos. These two didn't enjoy Hauer's performance, specifically. When I asked why, they said that there's only two things they hate. One was racism.

  • Loved the opening. Nothing like a hobo riding the rails.
  • I'm not sure if it was supposed to be funny or not, but the Hobo's life goal was pretty legit. $49.99 seems reasonable.
  • Not even trying to be a dick here, but I loved the colors that saturated every scene. Maybe my son was on to something.
  • And the reason we're all here, the inspired violence/instruments of death. My faves involve colliding bumper cars, a funhouse mallet, a giant crane, and like, duh, a motherf--king shotgun, eh? Suck on that Extremely Bad Santa!
  • The headlines in the local paper are completely brilliant.
  • After a relatively tender moment, Hobo quietly growls my favorite line of the movie: First, I gotta wash this guy's asshole off my face. It doesn't hurt that he's being literal.
  • In a flick filled with increasingly bizarre scenes, there's a surgery scene that's even more out there than the rest. In the throes of her job, a nurse endearingly screams Live, you f--king whore!
  • Okay, every man alive loves a good gearing up scene, it's in our DNA. I might be the only one however, who was stoked to see part of the process involved some ultra-clutch snap bracelets.
  • Even though I cringed and looked away, I have to cheer for anyone using their freshly exposed ulna to lift a friggin' sewer cap. 
  • The Plague. Whoa. Those guy's were all kinds of awesome.
  • And finally, not only was the sweatshirt the f--king coolest thing ever, but nothing beats some well-delivered bear lore. And that's why you should never hug a bear. Ohhhhh, that's why.
This hooker's real dream is to mow your lawn. No, seriously.
  • Man, Scumtown is a real shithole. Wait, that should read F--ktown. F--ktown, is a real shithole.
  • I can live with some random Canuck getting his head pulled off, that's fine, eh. But when a girl in a bikini basically performs an air guitar solo of November Rain in the ensuing blood geyser? I started to hope my TV would explode. Again.
  • I had no problem with the idea of quelling the Bum-Uprising, but the way they did it was actually the most f--ked up thing in this movie. Was it supposed to be funny? 'Cause it wasn't.
  • And finally, the ending. Sure,, I was happy when it finally came, but damned if it didn't seem like everyone involved just gave up. Shootout. Dead guys. Credits. Synthesizers.
Look, the thing is, I'm old. Maybe even mature, too. I've got a kid, and another on the way. I might've rented this one because of the interests I once had, namely violence and dumb shit. But at this point, I want to watch something that does more than just shock. I want something that makes me think, even if just for a minute.

Something like...

A rainbow.


  1. This sounds like a movie I would positively loathe, but your review is freaking brilliant. I love hearing a movie described as "an ugly, chaotic punch to the dick/loving nod to a long gone era of cinema" and "lovingly created, as every frame is drenched in the depravity of the grindhouse flicks that obviously inspired it." You are an awesome writer.

    Sounds like you had a bit of an epiphany. So does this mean you're going to be reviewing less shocking and more thought-provoking movies? :-)

    1. Awesome writer? Thanks for that. Though, I'll settle for the noun, you can keep the adjective (for yourself, of course).

      I've seen two movies since, and I'm still not sure what the Hell my plan is. Thought-provoking should be the goal, but at this point I'm going to settle for not horrible.

      Fingers crossed.

  2. Great write-up! Totally agree, this was fun up to a point. Then it just got repetitive and boring.

  3. You're speaking the truth here, Ty. This idea dn concept probably peaked during the kickass trailer.

    Possibly, like Machete, even.

  4. Thanks! Machete did have the same problem...hopefully Machete Kills is a bit better.

    1. Shocked we're getting another Machete flick.

      But, I'll still be seeing it.

  5. "In the throes of her job, a nurse endearingly screams Live, you f--king whore!" - OK, that sounds awesome!

    I once almost watched this movie, but I of course got a shitload of studying to do and didn't. But if I have at one point an urge to see something, one day the day will finally come :) Plus I like movies under 90 minutes long, lately everything is over 2 hours long and my brain can only absorb so much ;D

    1. It's pretty ridiculous, but sometimes that's exactly what you need.

      Man, I love almost watching movies. That happens to me all the time. I think I've almost seen Crimson Tide a dozen times. Still never watched a minute of it.

      You know I loves me some short runtimes. It's actually why this blog has become home to such ridiculousness. There's a reason why they don't hit 90 minutes. They ran out of ideas, or are extending thin ones. Hobo follows suit.

      My brain can absorb nothing anymore. After I write these up, I literally forget everything about them.