Freddy Got Fingered
The guy behind the pharmacy counter didn’t understand. Brain Drain? No, Brain Draino, I told him. Something to clean out my mind. Maybe something that’s bad for short term memory? Maybe I could find one of those guys from “Men in Black” with the memory erasers. Anything to get the nasty taste of “Freddy Got Fingered” out of my mind.
“Freddy Got Fingered” is positive proof that you don’t have to have an ounce of talent or sanity to make a name for yourself in Hollywood. I wouldn’t be comfortable with that name, but obviously co-writer/director/star Tom Green has no problem wearing it on his chest as an emblem of victory.
You could consider “Freddy Got Fingered” a victory of sorts. It’s definitely the worst film of the new millennium, and perhaps of the last twenty years. A comedy so mindless and irritating only a true moron could appreciate it. The scary thing is that “Freddy Got Fingered” will probably make a lot of money.
Adolescent prankster Green uses the film as a showcase for his unique brand of madness, which wears thin after five minutes. There’s hardly enough here to support a brief Saturday Night Live sketch much less a 90 minute feature. Green layers on one gross-out gag after another until the process becomes numbing. None of the material is particularly clever or funny, except to Green, who revels in his own excesses.
Green plays what appears to be a thinly veiled version of himself, a 28-year-old slacker named Gord Brody who quits his job to become an animator. He leaves the security of his parent’s basement to seek fame and fortune, but quickly returns when his dreams go up in a puff of smoke. Having Gord back home doesn’t impress his stern father Jim (Rip Torn), who declares war on his son.
That pretty much sums up the plot, a battle of wills between father and son that escalates beyond all reason. This allows Green and co-writer Derek Harvie plenty of opportunity to push the envelope, creating extreme situations that are guaranteed to shock. The film is so top heavy with gross-out humor that there’s no room left to care about the characters. It’s hard to feel sympathy for anyone, including the parents.
The comedy of “Freddy Got Fingered” is really out there, but unlike other gross-out comedies like “There’s Something About Mary” and “Dumb and Dumber,” there’s nothing to ground it. The attempts at humor are nothing more than a tedious string of gags, delivered with the finesse of a pit bull in heat. You might laugh if you find jokes about horse masturbation, elephant semen, kinky paraplegic sex, loose meat and child molestation funny. Then again, you might not.
Green’s attempt to make Gord an immature innocent fails. It’s obvious Gord loves his father and wants to please him, but his actions are mean spirited instead of earnest. It’s difficult to buy. Green proves to be his own worst enemy behind the camera. As a first time director, Green lacks the skill to know when enough is enough. He indulges his prima donna star, and vice versa.
Green wisely surrounds himself with talented people, and while it’s sad to see actors like Rip Torn and Julie Hagerty (as Gord’s patient mom) in this mess, it’s not surprising. Torn is a rebel from way back, while Hagerty got her comedy wings starring in “Airplane.” They’re obviously game for everything that Green throws at them, but it’s still sad.
Green has defended a lot of the film’s extremes by saying that he shot them never believing they would make it past the censors. It’s a known fact that most directors shoot trade-off scenes for the ratings board in order to get in the shots they really want. If “Freddy Got Fingered” is an “R,” what’s left? If masturbating a horse and spraying someone with fresh elephant semen isn’t considered adult material, what is?
The film’s core audience (not counting those in comas) isn’t old enough to get into an “R” movie, much less one restricted to adults only. Hopefully anyone old enough to get in will know better.
Adolescent prankster Green gives us the Finger
FREDDY GOT FINGERED
Tom Green, Rip Torn, Julie Hagerty, Marisa Coughlan, Eddie Kaye Thomas. Directed by Tom Green. Rated R. 89 Minutes.
LARSEN RATING: NONE