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Tuesday, April 19, 2011  

M. Ovie Reviews: Tucker & Dale vs. Evil

In this era of media saturation, it's rare that one gets to decide to see a movie based only on the title and nothing else. Fortunately, Chao e-mailed me the titles of some movies he was interested in as part of the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival that's going on this month, and I immediately decided that I was going to see theone called Tucker & Dale vs. Evil.

When I met Chao at the theater, I told him not to tell me anything about it, and if you don't want me to tell you anything about it, you should probably click away right now. Preferably on one of those ads to your right.

The host at the beginning of the movie did say that it's kind of a spoof on 80s slasher films, with a hapless crew of good-looking college aged morons venturing into the woods and getting killed one by one. Which it is.

Seriously, stop reading now. Ads. Right over there.

So we meet these kids on their way into the wooded hills of West Virginia, and of course immediately hate them. While we're still waiting to find out which one's Tucker and which one's Dale, they soon encounter a couple of dead-eyed, creepy-looking rednecks in costumes straight out of Deliverance and are quite freaked out, because that's what happens.

What doesn't usually happen, at least until this movie, is that the hillbillies turn out to be perfectly sweet guys. It takes a minute for us to get over our own prejudices, but suddenly you realize that they're being played by Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine as the titular Tucker and Dale. They're both rocking accents and have a rusty pickup truck full of open beer cans and sharp implements, but Dale (Labine) is just shy and a little slow, while Tucker (Tudyk) is a soulful philosopher in touch with his emotions and willing to pursue his modest dreams. It's the kids who are dangerous morons.

Once everyone's up in the woods, the misunderstandings continue, as Tucker and Dale rescue the hot but hapless Allison (Katrina Bowden from 30 Rock), and her friends think they've kidnapped her for whatever nefarious backwoods purposes. Yes, they actually rescued her after an accident they pretty much caused, but still. Led by Chad, the alpha-douche who was obviously raised on too much Nietzsche, Hemingway, and his own origin story, the kids soon find themselves in a slasher movie of their own idiotic making, with Tucker and Dale as the exceedingly unwilling antagonists. Obviously it's not long before we find out who the real monster is. And yes, that's a cliché, but I'm having fun with it. Like the movie does.

It sounds stupid, and it is, but it's also pretty damn funny. I've always liked Alan Tudyk, but he's a revelation here, displaying range and comic chops I had no idea he possessed. And yes, I watched Firefly (some). Speaking of which, as much as I try to avoid spoilers, you should be warned that there's a Tudyk vs. branch-through-windshield moment that will probably give you Serenity-related PTSD flashbacks.

So should you see it? You should. I just don't know how yet. But, you know, if you ever get a chance, jump at it. Just don't overshoot your jump and…well, never mind. That would be a spoiler.

posted by M. Giant 5:11 PM 1 comments


Oh hell...I'm a HUGE Alan Tudyk fan and was so excited to see this but I still haven't forgiven Joss for Serenity so I guess I'll give this one a pass. Did you see Tudyk in the original Death at a Funeral? Genius!

By Anonymous MN Heather, at April 26, 2011 at 6:40 PM  

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