Mr. Accident – 1 out of 5
For some reason during the back half of 2011, I decided to watch the three films that Yahoo Serious, the Australian comedian, made in the late 80s to the early 90s. I got through the first two but, for reasons that are probably centered entirely on the fact that I found his movies to be unbearable, I gave up on checking out the third film that he made in 2000. This last weekend, I decided to finally finish what I started 6 years ago and finally check out that third film; Mr. Accident. The experience was about the same as his first two features.
|It's a mystery why he never became a major sensation here in the states.|
Roger Crumpkin (Serious) is a clumsy maintenance man who works for a very large egg company. One day, his boss goes missing and is replaced by the shady and jerky Duxton Chevalier (David Field). After meeting the ex-girlfriend of Chevalier; Sunday Valentine (Helen Dallimore), he becomes obsessed with winning her heart and thinks he’ll do so with a small piece of metal that he believes is part of a UFO. And then, the two discover that Chevalier is infusing the eggs with nicotine in order to get people addicted to eggs. Yep, that’s what the film is about and I swear I am not making any of this up.
|What's truly amazing is how they padded this scene out for way too long.|
I'm not even annoyed, I'm kinda impressed that it went as long as it
did and never got funny.
Of the three Yahoo Serious films, this was the hardest one for me to sit through. The story is a mess, the comedy I found to be weak and very unamusing, and the editing was absolutely atrocious. The whole movie is spent attempting to make really unfunny slapstick humorous by beating the dead horse of a gag repeatedly and lost in the wake of this emphasis goes the story. Essentially the film is about a bad corporate dude adding nicotine to eggs in order to get customers addicted but this plot element is hinted at through most of the movie and it never comes into any real fruition until the credits are on the verge of rolling. The rest of the movie is spent watching Crumpkin flop around like an idiot for gags and bits that last way, way too long and him trying to woo Valentine. It’s actually really annoying to sit through because the whole movie feels like an overly extended first act and then it just proceeds to quickly rush through the 2nd and then the final act.
|That was the same face I had the entire time during Mr. Accident.|
One thing that really struck me about this movie is just how terrible the editing is. It’s so bad that it actually highlights how poorly written the entire movie was. For example, entire comedic sequences take place in single locations but the gags and moments are barely connected. They aren't pieced together through the plot or story but rather edited so that these little punchlines and slapstick moments just play out one after another. One second a character is falling down or doing something stupid and then it just cuts to the next moment of a character in the same scene falling down or doing something stupid. There’s no rhyme or reason to the story for these moments to happen, they are just bad gags being piled on top of bad gags with no organization. There’s a particular bad scene that involves Crumpkin and Valentine on a date at a fancy restaurant. The story attempts to feather the characters out for a second or two but then you are subjected to really bottom-of-the-barrel comedy for the next ten minutes. It’s just gag after gag with no transition beyond just a smash cut to the next setup for a gag. It was rough to look at as it felt like it was done by a first semester film student or like I was looking at test edits for potential gags that would go into the final product. To make matters worse, all the gags and jokes are easily telegraphed and painfully predictable.
|Hookay...I did chuckle at that.|
|Grant Piro played Cumpkin's roommate Lyndon...|
but, I'll be honest, for a second I thought it
was a young Fred Armisen.
As for the rest of the film, there are no real redeeming factors at play. The performances aren’t horrible but they aren’t very good either. They’re too over-the-top and the humor itself, which plays out like a live-action cartoon, is very out there as well and both of them seem to be trying to one-up each other. This results in just too much goofiness but it never results in completely terrible acting. For ridiculous and over-the-top acting, it’s fine for what it is—I just didn’t find it that interesting or entertaining to watch. Finally, the writing on this film is just bad. The script has no structure whatsoever and feels like it is running around wild with no real direction on where it wants to go. You ever have someone explain to you their weird dream or have a child make up a story on the spot that has no narrative or storytelling structure? If you have, then congratulations because you just experienced how Mr. Accident feels.
|Wait, is this film's bad guy related to Robbie Rotten from Lazy Town?|
Needless to say, I wasn’t very impressed or even remotely entertained by Mr. Accident (not that I really have enjoyed anything by Yahoo Serious). Granted, it wasn’t so bad that it deserved my score of zero because, blessed its heart, it is trying and the overall experience isn’t painful to sit through—it’s not easy, mind you, but it wasn’t groan-inducing. I can’t even argue that it has its fair share of moments because I really didn’t find any. Really, in the end, the film is just a completely inept comedy that suffers greatly from bad slapstick and an even worse script. But, at the very least, I finally completed my journey of watching all three Yahoo Serious films. I need a shower and a vacation now.