Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Monkeybone (2001)

Number Rolled: 50
Movie Name/Year: Monkeybone (2001)
Genre: Comedy
Length: 92 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Director: Henry Selick
Writer: Kaja Blackley, Sam Hamm
Actors: Brendan Fraser, Bridget Fonda, John Turturro, Chris Kattan, Giancarlo Esposito, Rose McGowen, Dave Foley, Megan Mullally, Lisa Zane, Whoopi Goldberg, Sandra Thigpen, Wayne Wilderson, Amy Higgins

Stu is a brilliant cartoonist that just landed his own show on a comedy network. In the midst of celebration, he leaves to go ask his girlfriend to marry him. Unfortunately, they never make it. A car accident lands Stu in a coma. While unconscious, he finds himself in a world of nightmares where he actually gets to meet the product of his imagination, Monkeybone.

Don’t be fooled by my description. This movie is in no way innocent or straight-forward. Yes, you may be able to tell how it’s going to end by about half-way into the movie, but the trip getting there is so completely wild that you won’t be able to follow anything else. In fact, this might be the single most random movie I have ever seen in my life.

A friend of mine described “Monkeybone” as an adult version of “Roger Rabbit.” When the movie was over, I punched him in the shoulder for it. The only thing the two movies have in common is that they both mix animation with live-action. That’s it. “Roger Rabbit” is a timeless classic that delves into a storyline of revenge and acceptance. “Monkeybone” is a hodgepodge of randomness that follows a tale involving clear cut black and white, good guy/bad guy philosophy with a touch of “holy shit, what the fuck?” “Roger Rabbit,” might have inspired this movie in format, but certainly not in content.

None of this is meant to portray the movie as bad. On the contrary, I enjoyed the strange, LSD infused, trip I took with the characters. I was transfixed by the sheer strangeness of the film and couldn’t look away from the screen. The actors did very well with what they were supposed to do. I enjoyed Brendon Fraser. I don’t think he’s good with other genres, but I think he is fantastic at what he does: silly/comedy-based storylines. To me, this still places him in the “good actor” column. After all, just because a doctor specializes in orthopedics, instead of generalizing their study, doesn’t make him a bad doctor. Brendan Fraser specializes in silly comedy, on a good day he might be able to handle something else, but in a movie like this one, he truly shines.

However strange “Monkeybone” is, it’s still a fun movie with a great deal of depth. Worth a watch.

Overall Opinion – 3.5/5

P.S. Based on the graphic novel, by Kaja Blackley, “Dark Town”

Movie Trailer:

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