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ALL REVVED UP
Reviewed April 8th, 2002 by David Nusair

 

All Revved Up is a perfectly example of everything not to do when making a movie. Nothing works here Ė not the acting, not the direction, and definitely not the nonsensical, utterly pointless screenplay. The worst part, though, has got to be the fact that this isnít a pretentious, low-budget student film. This is a real movie, with otherwise excellent actors Ė Lili Taylor, John Turturro, and Will Patton. Now, youíre probably saying to yourself, ďhey, if itís got that trio of awesome actors, how bad could it be?Ē Bad. Really, really bad.

The plot of the movie manages to be both simple and ludicrously complicated and convoluted at the same time. Taylor stars as a schoolteacher who, as the movie opens, finds herself stranded at the side of a busy expressway. Her carís broken down, so she gets it towed to the OK Garage (which, incidentally, is the original title of this film). There, she finds itís going to cost her $400 to get the problem fixed Ė but, of course, itís not quite that simple. Meanwhile, Patton pops up as a loopy friend of Taylorís (how do we know heís loopy? Heís taken to carrying around live lizards with him. This is the sort of thing the movie mistakes for quirkiness). Finally, Turturro appears as a friend of Pattonís Ė an aimless man with a crush on a married bank teller. The three finally come together in the last 10 minutes of the movie to take revenge on the crooked owners of the OK Garage.

It really is astounding how thoroughly and completely All Revved Up sucks. Perhaps it looked better on paper, because how else do you explain the presence of Taylor, Patton, and Turturro? From the stilted dialogue to the lifeless direction to the pointless storyline, everything touched by this movie dies. Itís not surprising that the same person who wrote All Revved Up also directed it, because no self-respecting director would have touched that script with a 10-foot-pole.

So, what is so disagreeable about this movie? Everything. The so-called clever dialogue comes off as forced and stagy. Thereís no narrative thrust to keep the viewer interested (apparently, we were supposed to find these idiotic characters so charming and offbeat that their very being would keep us engaged). And, as if it wasnít bad enough that movie is infested with this incomprehensibly dull people, the story just starts. We get no backstory on any of these folks or even a reason for their bizarre antics; no, instead weíre dropped smack dab into a couple of days of their mind-numbingly boring lives and expected to enjoy the film as an eccentric slice-of-life tale. It doesnít work. Nothing works here. Those three talented actors canít do a single thing with their vastly underwritten characters, which only proves that even the best of actors canít elevate shoddy writing.

All Revved Up is horrible, plain and simple. Avoid it at all costs, even if youíve got to watch a three-hour Celine Dion concert or plunge nails into your thighs.

Audio: Not surprisingly, both the audio and video are subpar. This 2.0 dolby soundtrack is mostly center-based, with few instances of ambient sounds. Sharper noises (like a door slamming) sound tinny, but the horrible dialogue is easy enough to make out Ė which isnít necessarily a good thing.

Video: Even worse is this 1.85:1 non-anamorphic transfer. Itís better than tape, but thatís about it. Thereís no sharpness here; now, perhaps thatís due to the low-budget. Still, this isnít impressive at all.

Extras: Not a single thing, which is a good thing. I wouldnít have wanted to spend any more time with this suckfest than I had to.

Conclusion: All Revved Up is easily one of the worst movies Iíve ever seen.

 

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