A six-foot tall demonic bunny who can see into the future... If that doesn't make you want to see Donnie Darko, then begone. You will not like this movie and you will probably not like my review of it.
Before I actually get into my review, I want to give you an example of the insanely brilliant script without any preconceived notion of what it pertains to or how it's used in the film, just so you can see how bizarre and even more bizarre this movie truly is.
Donnie: "I made a new friend today."
Dr. Thurman: "Real or imaginary?"
That's just so rugged. This movie is filled with lines and conversations that make you do double takes or wonder if the characters actually said them. It's almost too fucked up for its own good. Almost.
The first time I caught Donnie Darko was on HBO at a friend's house at 3 in the morning. I missed the first 10 minutes of it (the most important part of the movie in retrospect), but still enjoyed the hell out of it. Then I found the DVD in a bargain bin at Best Buy for only $10. This was the best deal I think I ever got on a movie (meaning the price per the quality of the film on the disc). I then watched it again from the very beginning. This time I was completely blown away. The full circle of the plot still just mystifies me. That Richard Kelly could make such a disturbing, shocking and yet still very sweet movie the very first time he wrote and directed just gives me a newfound hope for the future of Hollywood. There's hope now that films can and possibly will come along that will make us all smile at their beautiful simplicity, or their fucked up beyond all recognition plotlines and dialogue. Thank you, Donnie Darko, for giving us this hope again. And especially, a big "thank you" to Frank.
Frank, as it turns out, is the 6 foot tall demonic bunny rabbit that I mentioned above. Frank can only be seen and heard by the title character when he's in one of his almost-dream states. You see, Donnie is one screwed up kid. He's really smart, but he sleepwalks and is starting to have weird visions and conversations with things... well, things such as Frank. But don't be scared, 'cause Frank's only there to help Donnie out. He appears one night telling Donnie to follow him to a golf course where he tells him that the world is going to end in 28 days... six hours... forty-two minutes... twelve seconds. Then the fit starts to hit the shan. What happens after the warning, and then what happens after that, and then after that are all surprises that you should experience first hand while watching this thing. Donnie Darko is just too good to have me ruin any of the plot and character dynamics for you. Donnie's family is fun and pretty lenient on the profanity thing (which would have fucking ruled for me growing up), his girlfriend is a cutie and almost as messed up as he is (really, though, other than Holden Caufield, who truly is that screwed up?), and Donnie is just starting to figure out why he was put on this planet. Here's a hint: It involves the end of the world that Frank tries to warn him about. So, will Donnie save the world? Will he say "fuck it", and just keep fucking his new girlfriend without a care in the world? Will Patrick Swayze and Sparkle Motion turn out to be the true saviors? And is it so wrong of me to want Drew Barrymore to ride me like a donkey so much so that I find myself waking up from wet-dreams in the middle of the night screaming her name so loud that dogs start barking 5 miles away? Even though he only had her for like 2 months tops, Tom Green is one lucky sonovabitch.
But man, I remember the first time I had a giant, demonic creature warn me of the end of the world... It was a loooong time ago, and it wasn't a bunny, but a gerbil. Or maybe a hamster... They all look alike. Seriously, what's the difference between the two? For some reason Richard Gere prefers gerbils, so maybe they claw at the inside of a closed anus in a more satisfactory manner. Who knows. My point is this, Larry the demonic gerbil/hamster woke me up one night by nibbling off my left arm and then beating me with it in order to get my attention. After I stopped screaming and bleeding he told me that Designing Women would be cancelled again after its 1993 season if I didn't start a nationwide chainmail writing campaign in order to convince the execs at the network that it still had a loyal fanbase. Did I do as Larry told me, you ask?... Ummm, check your local listings and see if there are any new episodes of DW coming on anytime soon. Fuck Larry! I think he actually got his addresses mixed up and appeared in front of me instead of the widow Johnson next door. Turns out that she hung herself from the flagpole of City Hall the day the final episode played with a note pinned to her shawl saying that the "world had become too cruel" for her without her weekly dose of annoying middle-aged ladies bitching about their sex lives and men. If only she held out for Sex in the City. If only... Ha! It's funny how little mishaps like that will happen every once in a while in this otherwise problem-free universe.
All hail the beast! The beast has now taken a new form, and that form be thy name of Frank the rabbit. Frank is the unholy reincarnation of the first evil... I just know it! Thanks to Frank this movie was actually pretty cool. Without the bunnyman all this flick would have been about was a whiny little turd of a high schooler who goes to therapy once a week to tell his shrink that he wants to fuck Christina Applegate. And, I mean, who doesn't? That's just a boring and lame concept for a movie. But add the beast and give the beast some helliscious prophecies to lay upon our "hero" and presto: sweet fucking movie. I plan to bronze my face in a freakish and demonic appearance in order to imitate Frank. For the ears I think I'll have to have somebody drill some long and pointy ones into my skull for me. It'll be worth it though. Oh yes, it'll be worth it. Embrace the pain!
The Rossman here. Since Kuni got scared, wet his pants, and ran out of the room crying like a 10 year-old girl who just had her pinky toe bitten off by a doberman the moment Frank appeared, and didn't really see the movie, I will just list a bunch of uber-sweet quotes from the movie as provided by Amazon dot com. Enjoy!
Donnie: "First of all, Papa Smurf didn't create Smurfette. Gargamel did. She was sent in as Gargamel's evil spy with the intention of destroying the Smurf village, but the overwhelming goodness of the Smurf way of life transformed her. And as for the whole gang-bang scenario, it just couldn't happen. Smurfs are asexual. They don't even have reproductive organs under those little white pants. That's what's so illogical, you know, about being a Smurf. What's the point of living if you don't have a dick?"
Gretchen: "You're weird."
Gretchen: "No, that was a compliment."
Donnie: "Why do you wear that
stupid bunny suit?"
Frank: "Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?"
Donnie: "You are such a fuckass."
Elizabeth: "Did you just call me a fuckass? You can go suck a fuck"
Donnie: "Oh, please, tell me Elizabeth, how exactly does one suck a fuck?"
Jim Cunningham (Patrick Swayze): "Son...
DO YOU SEE THIS? This is an Anger Prisoner. A textbook example.
PEOPLE? This boy is scared to death of the truth. Son, it breaks
my heart to say this, but I believe you are a very troubled
and confused young man. I believe you are searching for the
answers in all the wrong places..."
Donnie: "You're right, actually. I am pretty- I'm, I'm pretty troubled and I'm, I'm pretty confused. But I. . .and I'm afraid. Really, really afraid. Really afraid. But I... I... I think you're the fucking Antichrist."
Kitty Farmer: "Okay, now girls... I want you to concentrate. Failure is not an option. And Bethany, if you feel the need to vomit up there... just swallow it."