Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

This was a tough, tough weekend y’all.  I saw a half dozen or so films, without a single one of them distinguishing itself as an outstanding work of cinematic art, worth of effusive praise, or a completely laughable piece of garbage just waiting to mercilessly, but good naturedly lampooned.  Where is ‘The DaVinci Treasure’ when so you desperately need it?  Now we have ‘The Darwin Awards’.  It’s a film that has a laugh here, and an interesting bit there, sprinkled in with a little of this and a little of that with a fairly strong cast, but ultimately separates itself in no way, shape, or form from any of the other mediocre offerings vying for your rental time.


Joseph Fiennes portrays crack San Francisco police profiler Michael Burrows, a precise, exacting, anal-retentive individual who lives his life according to statistics and probabilities.  He has also has cultivated a somewhat unhealthy obsession with the Darwin Awards, which, if you don’t know, is a little society that bestows recognition on folks who manage to kill themselves in the most stupid ways, therefore cleaning up the gene pool in the process.  Michael is on the case of a poet spouting serial killer and has him all but captured, but when he gets punched in the nose, sending the blood flowing, his fatal flaw, a fear of blood is exposed and the killer gets away.  This gets Michael fired from his job and his outlook is appearing bleak until he convinces an insurance company to use his prodigious profiling skills to track down potential Darwin Award type clients and save his potential employer millions per annum. 

I should mention that every moment of Michael’s life is being chronicled by a college documentarian for his senior thesis.  Anyway, Michael hooks up with insurance adjuster Siri (Wynona Rider) who’s as loose and free as Michael is uptight.  The two initially can’t stand each other, but can you smell the love in the air?  So these two odd

eggs travel across the country refusing stupid people’s claims while Michael is still dogged by the serial killer he let get away, who is steadily raising the body count.  Eventually Michael, Siri and the documentary shooter make their way back to San Fran for the ultimate showdown between profiler and serial killer.


Look, ‘The Darwin Awards’ wasn’t a bad movie and it wasn’t a good movie either.  It was a pedestrian, romantic comedy thriller that had a little comedy and not a lot of thrills and as such is a pain to type about.  It’s not bad enough to have fun with and make little funny jokes about and poke fun at the bad acting.  The stellar cast makes that impossible.  But it’s not nearly good enough, or witty enough or clever enough to laud with praise and think of unique ways to drone on about its wonderfulness.  It’s just okay.


Joseph Fiennes is a fine actor but he’s probably a little bit too leading mannish to be taken seriously as a sad sap, and surprisingly, despite both he an Wynona Rider being very good looking, likable people (Though one of them likes to shop lift every once in a while), they have very little spark or chemistry together.  I did spy Golden State Warrior Adonal Foyle playing a cop in the movie though and that was kind of cool.  But the whole student filmmaker thing really got irritating after a while and I can’t tell you what kind of plot device that was suppose to set.


That’s pretty much the best I can do.  Hopefully the next slate of flicks I get view will inspire some truly bad inspiration that one can grab a hold of.  Man, this mediocre stuff is literally killing me.

Real Time Web