Is this a dick flick? You know — the guys' version of a chick flick?
Donnie Darko is one of my favourite movies. And against all my better instincts — I love science fiction. So, strictly speaking, I should've been a huge fan of this film.
But I was unable to watch beyond the first 20 minutes.
First off: the premise. The film follows Aaron (Shane Curruth) and Abe (David Sullivan) who are engineers for a large corporation by day, but budding entrepreneur/inventers in Aaron's garage by night. It is there, in the fluorescent concrete interior of their workshop, that they chance upon a discovery that will change their lives.
The movie opens in a suburban kitchen, with a small group of earnest young men sitting round a dining room table in their shirtsleeves and talking shop. It's obvious they're discussing some kind of start-up business. They're constantly interrupting and speaking over the top of one another, however, which makes it virtually impossible to understand what they're saying. The action (make that "action" in air quotes) moves to the garage, where the friends continue to spout incomprehensible tech-geek-speak as they carry out mysterious and complicated-looking tasks.
We soon deduce that Abe and Aaron are working — unbeknownst to their colleagues — on a special project. We don't know what it is. Or why it's secret. Or what it will do. And neither do they. They keep up their cryptic banter while fitting batteries and wires and god-knows-what-else to a box that makes an ominous humming noise.
At this point we're already around 15 to 20 minutes into the movie. The characters have yet to utter a comprehensible sentence. The action so far has been confined to rooms lit in harsh, metallic colours giving everything a greenish tinge, including (especially) the people. There is the merest flicker of an emerging storyline. A nascent tension is building but it's barely discernible.