I demand the name of the programmer who selected Adventures of Power
for the Sundance Film Festival. It’s not just that it is a bad movie –
and it is a bad, bad, bad movie – it’s that this is exactly the kind of
movie that does not belong at Sundance. Adventures of Power is a cash
in film, a lowest common denominator piece of shit that was surely
pitched to the financers as ‘Napoleon Dynamite meets Dodgeball.’ I
would add ‘meets Guantanamo Bay’ because sitting through this movie is
like torture.



People who see comedies with me often comment on my laugh. It’s loud
and noticeable and I’m known to be a pretty easy laugh. The only times
I laughed at the screening of Adventures of Power is when someone next
to me made a nasty comment about the unrelentingly unfunny film. There
are gags in the movie but none of them – not a single one – work, and
there were a number of scenes that must have contained what the
filmmakers thought were jokes that just didn’t register at all.
Adventures of Power makes Requiem for a Dream seem like a
Zucker/Abrahams/Zucker film. I would go so far as to say that anyone
who finds Adventures of Power funny should be mercilessly beaten,
sedated, restrained, sterilized and then beaten again just for good
measure.



Adventures of Power
follows
the usual formula: nerd who is really into
some sort of silly and not obviously competitive activity for which
there is a big competition. The nerd is really into hard rock,
sweatbands, or other items that normal people enjoy ironically but
which he loves with complete sincerity. The nerd and/or his team of
losers overcome despite no one believing in them and love is found with
a girl who is in some way weird/damaged or odd. The bad guys are
usually rich or the experts at the silly activity while the hero is
poor and/or has an unusual/stupid way of doing the activity. The whole
thing is a semi-ironic riff on 80s films. In this case the nerd is some
asshole named Power, played by the asshole who
wrote and directed the movie, Ari Gold. The activity is air drumming,
the competition is an air drumming finals in New York. The love
interest is a deaf girl, and there’s a dual bad guy – the owner of the
copper mining company where Power’s dad works and is a strike leader
and the rich guy’s son, who is a successful real drummer who holds a
secret love for air drumming.



It’s possible that this film, with a different script, director and
lead actor, could have been funny. Well, with a different script,
director, actor and running time – Adventures of Power could have been
a good 15 minute short. A director with some style could have done
something – anything – visually interesting with the air drumming,
which is not as funny as Ari Gold thinks it is. And a different lead
actor would have kept me from wanting to punch the screen every minute
of the film’s runtime. But Adventures of Power has none of these
things, and it’s a nightmare to sit through, a grotesque parody of a
comedy.



I was thinking about writing this review as a personal attack on Ari
Gold (‘Your mother’s a whore! Your sister’s ugly!’) because the film
feels like an attack on me. Other press poured out of the movie well before it ended, the
smart rats jumping the sinking ship. I stuck all the way to the bitter
end, to see the lame ass Neil Peart cameo and the big, unfunny finish.
Every minute that I sat there I wondered what else I could be doing
with my life, what small and interesting film I was missing. What my
condomates were up to back home. What it would feel like to have my
thumb pop right through my eyeball. How soothing death would be. After
a while, though, I began to wonder if Ari Gold is the new Andy Kaufman,
if he knew that this film is an odious piece of shit without a single
funny moment and that the real joke is making me sit through it.
Honestly, I think I hate the guy either way.



Adrian Grenier appears in Adventures of Power as the rich drummer boy.
He’s terrible. Just awful. What makes his performance so bad is how
hard he’s trying, how broad he’s going. On Entourage it sometimes feels
like he’s sleepwalking through an episode; I can at least respect
sucking when you’re not even trying. The amount of effort on display
here is depressing. Michael McKean is Power’s dad, and he seems to
think he’s in a serious film – or maybe that’s the joke. I don’t know,
and in the end I just wish that this movie wasn’t some independent
film, since I would have liked for McKean to have maybe earned enough
to get a new pool or something.



I made the hasty assertion that The Mysteries of Pittsburgh was the
worst film of the festival; had I known that this movie, which makes
genocide in Somalia seem hilarious in comparison, was waiting for me, I
would have held my tongue. And stayed home. Perhaps have done my best to be aborted back in 1973. I hate Adventures of Power,
and I kind of hate everybody involved in it, unless they were
blackmailed into working on the movie, possibly through the kidnappings
of
their loved ones. I would like to request that Ari Gold find another
career where he will do less harm, such as typhoid carrier or toddler
beater. And I beg and pray that this film is not acquired at Sundance
and that the only print of it is sent right into the heart of the sun.
And that the Sundance Film Festival give me a gift certificate for a
free memory erasing visit to Lacuna Inc.

0 out of 10