05 Dec Tusk Review
Utterly Bizarre and Weirdly Compelling
Twenty years after the release of his breakout comedy, Clerks, beloved cult director Kevin Smith has done it again, this time with the quirky, horror-comedy, Tusk. Sporting his signature blend of irreverent humor and literary references with a touch of gore, Tusk tells the story of successful, schmoozy podcaster Wallace Bryton. Wallace’s search for the perfect story leads him to a remote home in Manitoba, Canada, inhabited by the world-weary traveler, Howard Howe. Howe offers Wallace an exclusive interview, revealing unbelievably harrowing tales of his time at sea and subsequent shipwreck. An eccentric character to say the least, Howe shares with Wallace the intimacies of his relationship with Mr. Tusk, a walrus he befriended while washed ashore. It soon becomes apparent that Howe has a strong desire to reunite with his long-lost friend, a dream that Wallace may be able to help him achieve. Howe reveals a sinister plan to transform Wallace into the physical embodiment of Mr. Tusk, forcing him to become the companion he left so many years ago.
While Tusk is undeniably odd and unlike many commercial theatrical releases, its accessibility to young audiences is certainly worth noting. Smith’s voice comes through full force, injecting the film’s characters with tongue-in-cheek humor and unique personalities. Solid performances from the varied cast bring Smith’s vision to life. As the protagonist, Justin Long provides viewers with both laughs and gasps, embodying a role that proves to be more demanding than his usual fare. The real star of Tusk, though, is Howe’s portrayer, veteran character-actor, Michael Parks. Parks’ unnerving, maniacal portrayal of the film’s villain is quite mesmerizing and reasons enough to check out the flick. For Kevin Smith fans especially, Tusk is a must-see film unlike any other.
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This guest blog was written by Colleen Shields.