david lawrence

MOVIE REVIEW: FUBAR II (2010)

“Knowledge of non-knowledge is power. “  – Dean Murdoch

FUBAR II

FUBAR II (2010 Alliance, directed by Michael Dowse)

Most sequels aren’t worth owning.  Fubar II is.  Plus, it comes with a bonus disc: Fubar, the original complete film. This was a total surprise to me. I had no idea it was going to be in there. I’m a little bummed that I bought the original film on blu shortly before this.  I gifted it to my buddy Cliff at work who also adores the exploits of Terry and Deaner.

Synopsis:  5 years after surgery, Deaner is celebrating these years of good health. Even though an eviction is looming, he and Terry have no real worries.  During a drunken house-trashing party, Tron tells them they have jobs waiting in Fort McMurray. Terry and Dean pack up their meager belongings and head to work in the oilsands.

As with the first Fubar, tragedy must eventually strike. Terry and Dean come to blows over a girl, Trish, who Terry has moved in with. Dean gets some bad news, and Terry gets even more unexpected news from Trish. For a while, Fubar II becomes much darker than the first film.

Unbelievably, a stroke of scripting genius turns Dean’s tragedy into triumph. This ending was as satisfactory as it gets. I ended Fubar II with a huge smile on my face. This sequel does something very unusual: it is funnier than the original, it has more emotion than the original, yet it doesn’t copy it. I have to say this is one of the best sequels I’ve seen.

The footage of the oilsands is really cool.  It looks like a cross between Vegas and the Mustafar system – a whole other planet. One thing about this movie, you can tell it had a budget this time, compared to the original. There are some really nice looking shots, and the movie itself looks great. The graininess has been replaced by slick production. The documentary style has been mostly dropped in favour of more traditional storytelling, although a few interview segments are scattered within.

For music geeks, Justin Hawkins of The Darkness has a vocal cameo near the end.  You’ll know it when you hear it!  The movie also features excellent tunage by Ronnie James Dio & Black Sabbath, The Gun, and Dean’s own classic “Whale Hunter”.

I mentioned the bonus disc with the entire original film, bonus features intact.   Other special bonuses in this set include a ton of deleted scenes. While some were overly long and you can seen why they were edited or pared down, others add to the story and comedy. There were several regarding Dean’s illness that might have worked well in the movie. One, “Mixing Meats,” was a shorty that just had me howling. Also, like the original film, this one comes with a commentary from Michael Dowse and others. Better though will be the in-character commentary by Terry and Dean. This was a real treat on the original film, and I’m sure this one will be too. I’ll have to check that out on next viewing.

Pick this up. Just give’r.

5/5 stars

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MOVIE REVIEW: FUBAR (2002)

To my international friends and readers:  You may not be familiar with FUBAR the movie.  But take one look at the poster.  You know you want to be familiar with it!  It’s awesome. 

FUBAR (2002, directed by Michael Dowse)

Ferrell Mitchner, an amature filmaker, wants to look at two locals who live the party life, fast and hard. Terry and Deaner are two “bangers” living in Calgary Alberta.  They shotgun their beers, vandalize stuff, and avoid getting a real job, and to them that’s just fine.  They live a worry and care-free lifestyle with a killer soundtrack behind them:  AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Thor, and original metal music too.

All’s not well in partyland though:  Terry and Dean’s best friend, Tron (Troy) isn’t hanging out with them anymore.  Things seem pretty dull in Calgary until Terry blabs to Ferrell that Dean’s got cancer.

And it’s bad cancer, too.  Testicular cancer.  While Dean acts like it’s a joke, his on-and-off girlfriend Trixie convinces him to get treatment.  For the sake of their daughter Chastity, Dean decides to go.  But not before one last massive blow-out party weekend.  Camping.  And Ferrell’s going to film the whole thing.

While the cancer aspect doesn’t sound funny, it does lend itself to many lines about Dean’s “giant nut”.  It’s the dense but lovable Terry and Dean who make this comedy work. Eternally quotable, Fubar is equal to or better than Trailer Park Boys’ dialogue.

Even though he cast some nasty fuckin’ evil shit on people, Merlin went to Heaven. That stuff’s real. Merlin was in King Henry’s court.

I liked this one, too.

Some of the best burgers I’ve ever had came from bowling alleys. Bowling alleys have some of the best cooks. Just because they work at a bowling alley, doesn’t mean they’re not gonna put some pride in their fuckin’ burgers.

The fact is, anybody who grew up in the 80’s knew somebody just like Terry and Dean. Dumb, but lovable and loyal, finding amusement in the simplest activities like farts, jumping fences and play fighting.  Terry and Dean are not unlike that guy down the street who wore his jean jacket even on the hottest summer days. Along the way, they encouter real Albertans like themselves, (like, actually real, as in these people didn’t know it was for a fictional movie) .   Guys who drink hard and party hard all weekend, waking at the crack of noon to do it all over again. While some would like to live in denial that such people exist, they’re out there, and they don’t give a shit what you think.

A big part of why this movie works is Paul Spence and David Lawrence.  Somehow they manage to give the characters of Dean and Terry just enough pathos, while keeping them genuine.

This is a truely awesome Canadian cult classic. It is a comedy with a real heart beating inside. Most importantly, it is only the beginning. Hopefully, you’ll want to see what adventures Terry and Deaner are up to when they move to Fort McMurray in Fubar II!

Bonus features are extremely high quality, with deleted scenes that should have made the final cut, and some hilarious commentary tracks.  I’m always a big fan of character commentaries.  The character commentary in this movie is hilarious.  Just as a sad scene is about to take place, commentary Deaner says:

I know I’m supposed to be sad because of what’s gonna happen…but this song’s so good, I can’t be sad.  (“Run To The Hills”)

Note:  You gain absolutely nothing by owning this on blu-ray vs. DVD.  The movie is supposed to look like they shot it with no money (which they basically did), and blu-ray actually looked worse in my opinion.

5/5 stars, just give’r.

Dean Murdoch Paul Spence
Terry Cahill David Lawrence
Farrel Mitchner Gordon Skilling