John Dies at the End Review
"John Dies at the End" is a very strange movie. That could be the understatement of the year, because there is very little in this film that one could categorize as normal. The film is about a drug known as "Soy Sauce," which allows its users to see other dimensions. But if the users take the drug too much, it can have even more disastrous effects.
The film revolves around a Caucasian named David Wong, he changed his name to protect himself a long time ago. "Wong is the most popular sir name in the world" says David. At the beginning of the film, he is talking to a reporter about his time with "Soy Sauce." The reporter is trying to decide whether or not "Soy Sauce" does what David insists it does, or if it just like any other drug.
David accounts the first time he came into contact with "Soy Sauce." It was at a concert his friend John was headlining. David talks to a crazy Jamaican man selling the drug, who talks about predicting David's first love to the end of the world. This all scares David quite a bit, so he leaves and goes home. He wakes up to his phone ringing, it's John. Apparently, there is a giant fly in his apartment.
David comes to help John, and of course David thinks his friend is crazy. When John goes to hide in his room, David begins looking through John's things. He finds a mysterious syringe with some kind of thick black substance in it. David takes the syringe with him when he leaves. And you can bet the syringe will somehow stick in David...
Once the syringe accidentally stabs David, he is sucked into an adventure with John. Walking through other dimensions, fighting demon-monsters, and trying to stop a monstrous deity named Korrak. Korrak plans to merge his dimension with ours!
Chase Williamson plays David Wong and Rob Mayes plays John. I don't know anything about the rest of their careers, but I do know I would love to see them in more movies. They carry this whole movie on their shoulders and make the audience buy the film's premise. Paul Giamatti plays Arnie the reporter questioning David. Clancy Brown (who you may remember from "Starship Troopers," "Cowboys and Aliens," and "The Shawshank Redemption.") plays Marconi. Marconi is some kind of religious leader who decides to help David and John on their quest. Doug Jones (From the Hellboy series) plays a mysterious man who comes in to contact frequently with our heroes. All the actors do very well, and they should be noted for their work.
If one were to compare "John Dies at the End" to other drug-induced tales like "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" or "Requiem For A Dream," "John Dies at the End" is incredibly trippy, which I think is a good thing. However, the film starts off very well, but the pacing becomes an issue in the second half of the film. I also feel the film becomes extremely confusing by the second half too. I don't know if it was intentional to try and lose the audience, but I did my best to keep up. It gets very hard to determine which characters are from another dimension or who is real. It should be noted to pay very close attention while watching.
Overall, the film is very good. If the film fired off on the same cylinders throughout instead of the first half, the film would be great. The acting is top-notch, and the film certainly lives up to the "crazy drug movie" theme. The film has its funny parts which the audience will enjoy. I only wish the film didn't slow down so much in the second half. But not worry, the film still has its charms.
FINAL GRADE: B+