DRIVE-THRU

DRIVE-THRU
2.5 Stars
Year Released: 2001
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 98 minutes
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It’s a nerd’s paradise! An alternate universe where high school geeks are actually cool. Everybody laughs at their jokes, chicks actually talk to them, they throw ragin’ parties complete with beer and weed and they rarely ever get beaten up. I’m sorry. I know this is a movie and everything, but I can suspend my disbelief only so far. These characters wouldn’t last a day in a real high school without being pounded on or dunked into a trashcan. Don’t blame me. I don’t make these rules.
The problem is since “Clerks” came out, anyone with a camera has adopted this notion that their little mundane lives can also be transformed into an interesting movie. Not to say that this can’t happen. With talent like Kevin Smith’s and Richard Linklater’s, you could make taking a dump seem like a tour de force, but without that talent, all we’re looking at is a limp dick. I’m happy to say that the “Drive-Thru” dick isn’t all that limp. It’s more like a Hollywood loaf.
During the first half of this shot on DV feature, the filmmakers are trying really hard to pull off that “Clerks” feel as we follow a group of friends around their hometown and high school, gabbing about movies and making snide remarks to each other. Very “Clerks”. You can also feel the Smith influence by the way some characters deliver their lines or how dialogue exchanges are set up. There’s even a couple of stoner dudes amongst the friends. And like I said before, they’re all fairly popular at school, which I just don’t understand. Guys that make “Gilligan’s Island” references or quote Al Pacino movies get thrown straight into the garbage can.
This first half is a tough sit as the friends decide to make a movie based on their own lives. This is a bad idea. I know this because this is what “Drive-Thru” is for the most part and it’s just not cutting the mustard. We all have wacky friends that make us laugh, but this is no way a basis for a film. Thankfully, however, the second half of the film picks up as the friends break the camera they were going to use, so now they have to come up with three grand to fix it. Ah, a mission. Great. And this makes way for a couple of decent jokes. I even laughed out loud a couple of times and I rarely ever do that unless a monkey is involved. The friends get busy doing odd jobs out and about the town, including one guy wearing a Film Threat t-shirt while painting a wall yellow. I said odd jobs, right? The money is raised but shortly disappears. One of the friends is suspected of nabbing it, so it’s secret mission time as they invade his home to get back the cash. This second half moves along much quicker and is even mildly enjoyable. The “Clerks” feeling fades and the movie references stop all except for one guy whose nearly every line is a famous movie catch phrase. I guess this is just a way for the filmmakers to poke fun at themselves.
Even though there are a few really good jokes, most of the humor is very odd. The film is filled with tons of jokes and I realize that funny stuff is being said…but it just isn’t funny. It doesn’t work and I blame this on the comic timing and delivery of the actors. You can be the most hilarious bastard behind the word processor, but if your actors can’t deliver the funny, your efforts have gone to waste. Not to say that “Drive-Thru” is filled with bad actors. On the contrary, all of the actors seemed very comfortable in front of the camera. They’re not master thespians, but they all seemed to know their lines well and didn’t deliver them like they were talking blocks of wood. This definitely put life into the film and I have to give them propers for that. It’s just a shame that the comedy couldn’t have been executed better.
All in all, what looked to be a disaster, actually turned out to be okay, despite the unbelievable characters. A valiant effort. I’d just really like to see everyone get off of Kevin Smith’s jock.



Posted on February 26, 2002 in Reviews by
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