Film Review: ‘Tusk’

Michael Parks

Kevin Smith’s 1994 debut Clerks found the filmmaker already firmly intertwined with his narrative, with the movie’s hilarity bolstered by the writer/director’s profane stories about his struggles getting the damn thing made in the first place. What first seemed like charming promotion quickly grew into a canny empire, as each subsequent project emerged accompanied by increased flurries of merchandising, Twitter rants, and self-referential Easter eggs. All of which is fine, unless you just kind of want to watch a movie.

Judged strictly by what’s on the screen, Smith’s Tusk is a bit of a hot mess: an initially creepy slice of body horror that repeatedly fritters away its mounting bad vibes through shoe-horned flashbacks and lengthy improv digressions. When taken as a part in the ever-evolving chronicle of All Things Kevin, however, it becomes something more interesting.

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