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Visioneers (2008)

August 3, 2009

4/10 Cordial Middle Fingers

I’m betting that I’m probably one of three people that have actually seen this movie, but hey, it wasn’t terrible.

Visioneers is about a guy named George Washington Winsterhammerman, a descendant of the George Washington that’s stuck in a dead end job and comes home each day to a dead end life. When people around the world suddenly start exploding from stress, George Washington Winsterhammerman takes a good hard look at his life and tries to figure out where he went wrong before he explodes too.

Yes, it is a pretty weird premise and it only delves further into the strange by creating this alternate, almost Orwellian reality where everyone is trapped by the monotony of their lives and they all great each other with a middle finger like it’s a handshake.

Man, this is hard to describe without making it sound like the stupidest fucking thing ever. Just watch the trailer. You’ll get the general idea.

I was actually kind of looking forward to this movie when it showed up on Netflix. I’m all for comedies with a real “out there” sense of humor and since the comedic god Zack Galifianakis plays George Washington Winsterhammerman, I mean, why the hell wouldn’t I want to see this?

And at times it definitely delivers. I could hardly control myself for the first ten minutes I was laughing so hard. Everything that’s really strange and funny about the movie gets covered in the opening scene, and while it’s all hilarious, the novelty wears off pretty quick after that. You can only crack up at people flipping each other off, making up words, and saying “George Washington Winsterhammerman” for so long.

So yeah, it starts out really strong and it’s hard to miss the quirky potential, but everything after the first ten minutes…eh, not so memorable. It’s not often I find myself fighting off sleep an hour into a movie, but such was my experience with Visioneers. There’s several parts in the movie where Galifianakis doesn’t even talk for a good twenty minutes at a time. I don’t know, I guess it just gets too strange for it’s own good at times and after a while it just denigrates into a static drone of jokes that don’t land.

It’s disappointing though. I feel like this movie had a lot of promise to be a lot better than it was. Maybe it’s just one of those things you need to watch more than once to really get all the humor, like The Big Lebowski or something. Galifianakis has been much funnier and this isn’t much of a testament to what he’s capable of.

I wouldn’t so much recommend it, and I was tempted to give it a lower score than I did, but if anything else, it sure is original. Even if it doesn’t work all the time, Visioneers still gets points for thinking outside the norm and being proud to be different.

Different is always good.

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