John Dies at the End

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Reddit is a website where I get stuck a lot. I pursue the depths of the site on an almost daily basis. It does nothing for my time management skills but it does give me a sense of what the nerdy world is watching. Lately (because it has popped up on Netflix Instant and that is how everyone consumes media now) a lot of posts have been about this film and just how awesome it was. Reddit does serve as an echo chamber of sorts so once someone posts something in one subreddit, the same sentiment and opinion will probably show up in another. In other words I was sick of hearing how awesome this film was, so I decided to give it a try. I will no longer take recommendations from reddit…

John Dies at the End is supposed to be this twisted tale of alternate universes, drug taking, and the end of the world. What it really is just some wacked out imagery that doesn’t hold together as any sort of coherent plot. It is actually a lot like a series of short films strung together. The first segment before the titles was a monologue on the evolution of an ax the main character has. It was clever and fast paced injected with a bit of humor. I thought we were going to a good place. The next one is the main character sitting at a Chinese restaurant talking to a journalist (who is played by Paul Giamatti) and tweaking out on a drug called soy sauce. He tells the story of how he came to be on soy sauce, but this is where the story starts to get bogged down. He spends too much time on the beginning of the story and not enough time explaining the ending of the story. We see how the soy sauce was taken by John, then accidentally taken by the protagonist, we see an investigation go sour, people aren’t who they say they are and then we get thrown into an alternate universe. This is where the plot line becomes incomprehensible. What are we doing in this alternate universe? Why do we care about them defeating this one-eyed monster squid thing? Is any of this really happening or is this just a figment of the protagonist’s drug addled brain? This is the problem with the film. You cannot answer any of these questions with a good enough answer to satisfy me.

I say that this film is like a series of short films, and I think that it would have been better if it was a mini series or a television show. After all, it is based on a series of books. I just think that they tried to cram too much stuff into its running time. You are left with so many questions at the end about the basic structure of the film that your head is spinning. Not the least of them is John really dead by the end of the story?

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