The Darwin Awards

MPAA Rated – R
It’s 1:34 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

The Darwin Awards
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: David Arquette, Joseph Fiennes, Winona Ryder, Juliette Lewis
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: Fox Home Entertainment
Release Date: 2006
Kiddie Movie: Nah, being young they might get the wrong idea of The Darwin Awards and think they should win one.
Date Movie: It’s a nice movie to cuddle on the couch and screen-talk about how stupid people can be.
Gratuitous Sex: There’s some sex and some nudity. Nice.
Gratuitous Violence: Just seeing how people are stupid.
Action: Nope.
Laughs: There’s some laughs and chuckles.
Memorable Scene: The “being safe in the shower” scene.
Memorable Quote: Nah.
Directed By: Finn Taylor

DVD REVIEW – Add Cool Things
Someone mentioned to me that they saw the DVD “The Darwin Awards” in the rental store and wondered if I saw it. I told them I hadn’t, but then saw it on my own and decided, “What the hell, let’s see if this movie sucks.” It didn’t suck, but I can also see why it never made it to the big screen, but maybe the film folks should have at least given it a chance. Here’s the story…

Most of you know the story of The Darwin Awards. These are awards given every year to people who die in ways that are pretty stupid when you think about it, or find themselves unable to reproduce. It’s also a reference to “survival of the fittest” signifying that maybe humanity will thrive just a little bit more by losing these morons early. Anyway, in the movie “The Darwin Awards” we get Joseph Fiennes as Michael Burrows. He’s a police investigator in San Francisco being taped for a documentary. He’s also hemophobic (he faints at the site of blood). And he’s also obsessed with those who die or get injured in a “Darwin Award” manner. He’s hot on the trail of a serial killer but sadly the sight of blood causes him to faint and the bad guy gets away. Disgraced and booted from the force, Michael thinks he might find his next calling, working for an insurance company in determining high risk cases for them, or claims to deny based on the fact that the facts aren’t always what they seem, and now he is paired with Siri (Winona Ryder), traveling the highways and byways of the country debunking some insurance claims that on the surface seem open and shut.

So Michael and Siri find a dude crushed by a vending machine, a dude claiming someone stole his car, a missing dude (and car) who just wanted to go fast and be on TV, and all the while Michael is still obsessed with finding the serial killer he let get away. And, oh yea, he falls for Siri (but who wouldn’t?).

I really wanted to like this movie, and as a DVD rental it’s good enough for a rental, but the problem is that since we know what The Darwin Awards are, every time Michael and Siri get to a new town to investigate an insurance loss, well, the ending of the loss is really no surprise. It’s pretty obvious why the dude reported his truck stolen, most people will be able to figure out the demise of the stoner dude at the Metallica concert before it happens, the vending machine death is a “Duh!”, but the one adventure involving Harvey (David Arquette), who couldn’t seem to go fast enough for his wife Joleen (Juliette Lewis), where you might actually be sitting there watching the movie wondering what this bonehead did to kill himself, is ruined because the filmmakers gave it away at the opening of the movie. So much for any mystery during this movie.

In the midst of the deaths is the budding relationship between Michael and Siri, and the interruptions and non-interruptions of the documentary filmmaker constantly stating he can’t get involved. The love story is cute enough, but it is the quirkiness of Michael trying to not be a Darwin story that makes things funny during this movie.

I love Wynona Ryder, and would stalk her if she wanted me to, and she is just absolutely adorable in this movie. Joseph Fiennes was great as the quirky detective now obsessed with Darwin Award scenarios. But the underlying problem with the movie was that there weren’t any surprises.

In the end it’s 3 stars out of 5 for “The Darwin Awards.” There are a couple of funny moments in the movie intertwined with the deaths and shootings, but just please, remember, if you are going to use your gun to pull your buddy from the icy pond, make sure you unload the gun first.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!