Cirque du Freak

Cirque Du FreakCirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant is, I’m certain, the first of several films that will help take vampires from their current status as emo-hunks with sensitive sides, and send them down a shame spiral where they’ll hit rock bottom, and be forced to stay in hiding until someone reinvents them again.  Seriously, this film is a mess.

Freak is based on a young adult book series of the same name.  It’s the first in a planned trilogy, and unapologetically so.  It’s as if writer/director Paul Weitz was attempting to use The Secret: just act like there will be two other installments, and even if the film sucks, it’ll happen.  I predict the other films will never be made, and for good reason.  This, strangely enough, happened to Weitz’ brother Chris Weitz who tried, unsuccessfully, to make a trilogy out of His Dark Materials, but was shut down after The Golden Compass was poorly received.

John C. Reilly plays Larten Crepsley, a two hundred year old vampire spearheading the oldest continuous freak show in the western hemisphere, Cirque du Freak.  The show is made up of lots of weirdos that range from Corna Limbs (Jane Krakowski), who can grow her arms back after amuptation, to Madame Truska (Selma Hayek), who grows a thick beard when aroused, to Evra the Snake Boy (Patrick Fugit) who has green scales instead of skin.  Two normal best friends in high school, Darren (Chris Massoglia) and Steve (Josh Hutcherson), who have weird obsessions with spiders and vampires,  come across a flier for the event and decide to attend.    The two then get recruited to different sides of a war between vampires (who don’t kill their victims when feeding) and the vampenese (those who do kill), pitting one best friend against the other!

Reilly proves, once again, that he is just not leading man material.  His comedic timing was never good, and without Will Farrell to carry him, it’s just an aggravating performance.  The script doesn’t do anyone any favors either.  Every corny cliche in the book was pulled out for Freak. Even Hayek, playing Reilly’s love interest, who proved she is funny in last season’s 30 Rock was bland (and in what world, even in a world of freaks, would Selma Hayek date John C. Reilly?).  The poor character development and undeveloped attempts at zaniness, can mostly be traced back to Weitz, who wrote the scripts for both About a Boy, and The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps.  Since this is his first attempt to make a film without the help of his brother, it may be safe to assume he’s not the one who has the talent in this duo.  The Vampire’s Assistant is one of the worst films of the year.

★☆☆☆

Comments
5 Responses to “Cirque du Freak”
  1. Steve says:

    So, better or worse than Walk Hard? I feel bad for Reilly, I really do think he’s got the chops to handle a lead role, he just needs to find one that hasn’t been turned down by everyone else. Or maybe he should just own the fact that he’s been a kick-ass supporting role actor and just squeeze a little more money out of it.

  2. Ben says:

    Tell us how you really feel?

    Jokes, I actually enjoy reading your reviews where you just tear the film to shreds. I have no desire to see any film with John C. Reilly as the leading man. I just don’t. I just don’t.
    .-= Ben´s last blog ..On and Again =-.

  3. blake says:

    @Steve, I didn’t watch Walk Hard, but I think at least that film had better production values. I think Reilly is really talented as well. I was really excited about him when he was in Magnolia, and Gangs of New York, but this new comedy phase does not suit him.

    @Ben – Agreed. He’s not that awesome.
    .-= blake´s last blog ..The Hitchhiking Movie =-.

  4. Steve says:

    I think you hit on something there. Reilly is at his best/funniest when he’s doing drama: Boogie Nights and Magnolia are both great examples. I guess people figure he’s such a big guy with such a big personality that he must be able to carry a film. I get the feeling that Hollywood players feel about him the same way Principal Skinner and Supernintendo Chalmers did.

  5. This movie is way better than Twilight! I’m in the sixth grade in Euclid,Ohio.I’ve read all the Cirque du Freak books and I have to say you brought all the charcters alive!

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