There are two ways to watch this movie. One is the way most critics do, i.e. as a comedy that has no understanding of the mechanics of comedy. The other way, the right way, is as an assault on the mechanics of comedy and other film clichés. Really, Freddy is to the Hollywood comedy, especially the current crop of gross-out/teen comedies, what Godard’s Les Cranberries is to the Hollywood war film.
Many comedies have protagonists who are essentially sociopaths, from Groucho to Cartman. They also make us into sociopaths, laughing at things like children being severely injured. But the sociopathic behavior is presented in a context, or with cues that tell us it’s not real, and that it we are clear to laugh. Green presents the same sort of material, but without the conventions that let us know he’s joking. Green’s character is a real nut. No, a real nut. And when child gets injured it looks like a scene from a drama, not a comedy (except for a disappointing cop out in the last scene.)
Green obviously doesn’t have the talent or the ideological motivations of Godard. In fact, a large part of his motivation seems to have been getting away with as much as possible on the studio’s dime, which is pretty awesome in itself. If you need an extra chuckle while watching Freddy, just stop and think Fox made this fucker. Or how about the fact that, while you can be arrested in many states for selling film of a guy jerking off a horse, Green got it into the nation’s multi-plexes?
Alright with that out of the way, the film is pretty good. The unadorned “comedy” is a test of the depravity of your sense of humor (mine’s pretty fucking out there). It’s definitely interesting, and even it’s critics must acknowledge Freddy Got Fingered’s status as a point of reference. If nothing else, you should watch it to have seen it.
Lots and lots of extras. First is the commentary, which pretty much supports my interpretation of the film, but you’ll have to take my word that I figured it out on my own. Green is funny at times, but he actually plays it relatively straight through most of the track. He also takes on critics directly and by name, which I like. There are some deleted scenes with optional commentary; they are nothing special with the exception of a clip of Green making an interesting guest appearance on a Canadian talk show.
There is scene specific commentary from Williams, Torn and Coughlan. It’s OK. Willams’ is the most entertaining, with a dialog between Williams and his agent (maybe Williams himself) concerning blood farts.
Other extras include the MTV special, which is Green doing his thing for the camera and a lot of clips from the film are shown. You can also watch the film along with the recorded audience reactions from the premiere. This is a good idea generally, but especially for this film because you can hear an audience reacting to a movie the way the usually react to a good boxing match: by going “OHHHHHHHHHH! OHHHHHH!” and the buzzing and then going “OHHHHHHH” again and buzzing some more. It’s another testament to the originality of the film. There is also a “Rated PG Version” which is a good idea, but not all that funny. Finally, there is the usual cast and crew, soundtrack info and featurette.
- Overall: 7
- Direction: 6
- Acting: 6
- Story: 7
- DVD Goodies: 9.5
- Times I paused the Movie to do Something Else: 0