S. Darko DVD review

The controversial sequel to Donnie Darko lives down to expectations..

S. Darko

Oh dear. 

Set ten years after the original story, this time the focus is on Samantha Darko (Daveigh Chase), Donnie Darko’s younger sister. Feeling alienated by family life, she heads off on a road trip with her best friend Corey (Briana Evigan). When their car breaks down on the outskirts of a small Utah town, they are forced to take the help of local bad boy Randy (Gossip Girl‘s Ed Westwick).

Stuck until the car is fixed, they soon come to learn of the town’s secrets, namely boys who keep going missing and crazy ‘Iraq’ Jack Sparrow (I kid you not) who they think is responsible for this. They also meet Pastor John, a charismatic minister who is almost a carbon copy of Patrick Swayze’s Jim Cunningham from the original movie, and last but not least, geeky Jeremy (Twilight‘s Jackson Rathbone) who is obsessed with the recent meteor impact that has taken place in town.

Like her brother, Sam suffers from sleepwalking nightmares and a dead version of herself keeps giving a countdown to the end of the world to Iraq Jack, who goes off and makes himself a Frank the Bunny mask and awaits his fate. In between this, Sam inadvertently starts down the path of time travel and its various outcomes.

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I don’t really know where to start with this film other than to first state that is one of the worst  I have viewed in recent memory. And that really is saying something, as I watched Lost Boys 2: The Tribe recently.

I was a big fan of Donnie Darko. It was a very unique film from promising director Richard Kelly, who, just to mention, has completely distanced himself from this movie (shame the same couldn’t be said for Southland Tales). The script was thoughtful with some dark humour thrown in and was stitched together by the characters, all of whom were fleshed out to perfection.

In comparison, S. Darko just seems to rely on stereotypes when it comes to characterisation. For example, the audience knows Randy must be a bad boy straight away because he smokes and drinks, unlike the geeky Jeremy who is interested in science. The script itself is just trying to be a cult, art movie but fails epically on all accounts; it is a nonsensical mess and takes the ending of Donnie Darko and repeats it no less than four times throughout.

The main plot device of time travel is poorly executed and the underlying plot of the town’s missing boys is basically given to you on a plate less than halfway through the movie. When it finally comes to a resolution, there is no surprise.

While Donnie Darko will be watched for many years to come, S. Darko will be one of those films most people won’t even know exist and, in fairness, their lives will be better for it.

Extras Extras include a few deleted scenes which add nothing to the movie, a making of documentary which is amusing as you get to hear the writer actually apologising to Donnie Darko fans, a further documentary called Utah Too Much which is basically a very overlong piece about the recording of a song, and a commentary by the film’s writer Nathan Atkins, cinematographer Marvin Rush and director Chris Fisher, all of whom seem confused about why Donnie Darko required a sequel.

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At least that is something we can all agree on.

Film:

1 stars
Disc:
1 stars

S. Darko is released on 6 July.

Rating:

1 out of 5