Monday, June 2, 2014

John Dies at the End (2012)

SPOILER WARNING!!! This post spoils movie John Dies at the End (2012).

I am starting to think, this movie wasn't supposed to make any sense. It is like those weird movies, which explain everything at the end with exception, that it doesn't explain anything at the end. It is just weird for weirdness' sake. I have theory of what happens in this movie, but it makes lot of assumptions and it doesn't explain almost anything. This post probably won't make much sense, if you haven't seen the movie. I am not sure, it does even, if you have.

Story has two heroes. Main character is Dave, who reminds me little of Tobey Maguire's Peter Parker. He has friend named John, who reminds me of Andrew Garfield's Peter Parker. I am pretty sure, this wasn't their intention, but to me they feel like old and new Spider-Man. Movie starts with the paradox of  Theseus' ship. This time it is told with axe and zombie. Dave kills man with axe. He chops man's head off. He breaks the handle, which he replaces. Later he kills weird worm with same axe. This time he breaks the head, which he replaces. Later dead man comes as zombie, with different head and asks Dave, is he holding the same axe that killed him. Is it the same axe? Answer to that should explain everything or something like that. Movie never returns to this scene and movie is not about the paradox. So it was just cool opening with nothing to do with the rest of the movie.

You can watch this movie two ways. Either everything, that happens, happens for real or this shows Dave using drugs and most of the movie is his hallucinations. First way movie makes no sense. It doesn't establish any rules and doesn't follow any logic. With second way, movie start to make some sense and it doesn't have as many big problems. Movie tells about two friends, Dave and John, who travel between different universes and fight against strange monsters. I will explain the second way here. Watching the movie will help understanding this. Drug they use is called soy sauce.

Events start at John's bands concert. There Dave meet Jamaican drug dealer. Drug dealer can tell Dave's dreams. This is one of the problematic parts when watching movie second way. Drug dealer is using soy sauce, which gives that sort of ability. However Dave is in something at this point. So this could be some sort of hallucination too. Later that night, John has lost it and calls Dave.  Dave goes to John's places, where John sees hallucinations.  Dave finds syringe of soy sauce, which he puts into his pocket. He takes John to hospital. On their way to hospital Dave start to see hallucination. Later he realizes syringe in his pocket has injected soy sauce into him. So hallucinations came from drugs.

Detective Appleton takes Dave and John to police station. Police station scene is another problem for second way. To be exact, the door of the room, where Appleton interrogate Dave is problem. When Appleton comes to room, another police came also and another police closes the door. Later we learn, another police is not real and the door won't close by itself. So who closed that door? To be fair this is minor problem considered to problems, if this all was real. Dave is having hallucinations at this point, so that door thing could be hallucination.

During interrogation, Appleton tells, John is only survivor of Jamaican drug dealer's party after the concert. All others have died horrible. This could be because of bad drugs they used. Soon after that Appleton is told, John has died too. Which would mean, the title is a lie, since this is first third of the movie. Title is a lie also, if this all was real. Dave escapes the police station after John dies.  John helps his escape giving him instructions on phone. This is one of the hallucinations. When he stop hallucinating, John's phone call ends.

Dave's rare sober moment ends, when he finds Jamaican drug dealer's  trailer. There he finds soy sauce pills. He takes them and he is soon reunited with John and they fight monsters in this and other universes. So, why I think second way is correct way to watch this movie. After John dies at police station, Dave doesn't see him, if he is not on drugs. He get calls from him, but every time he sees him, he sees other hallucinations too. Weird adventures make more sense, if they happened only on Dave's head. This way only has two small problems instead of huge problems, if all this was real. Sober and drugged moments makes sense, if you think some drugged moment have some connections to reality and other drugged moments Dave just lies on floor watching the ceiling.

Alternative is to explaining bigger problems. How Arnie's car got to parking lot, if Arnie was Dave's imagination? How real Arnie's body was on trunk? Why man in alternative universe told, no-one could travel to our universe, when we saw creatures from alternative universe all the time? What soy sauce actually was? It was alive, when Dave was drugged and it was hinted it chose Dave. Not to mention all the other continuity errors, which made movie feel like they came up with new weird stuff as they went on.

I like weird movies, which make you think. But this was just weirdness for weirdness' sake. Anything could happen and nothing earlier mattered. Movie has few good ideas. It is worth watching, if you are in to weird movies. Just don't think it would make any sense. It took me few days and two watching to write this post and I still think it doesn't make any sense.


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