A few years ago Kevin Smith decided that he had said all he could say and announced he was retiring from film. Lucky for his fans they could still hear him on one of the many podcasts on his Smodcast Network, here Smith found a new way to entertain his very loyal fans. His last film, Smith embarked on a different journey and made a film called “Red State” that ventured out of his universe, and into the world of horror. Like Michael Corleone just when Smith thought he was out, he is pulled back in when he discovers a story that is just too good not to make.
The idea for his latest film “Tusk” came from one Smodcast with Scott Mosier, in which our two heroes read a story about a man who is seeking a companion, who would receive free room and board, but only if they dressed up in a walrus suit for part of the day. Smith’s version took a dark take on the ad and that is where the fun begins. Wallace Bryton (Justin Long) and Teddy Craft (Haley Joel Osment) host a popular podcast, a show which Wallace interviews strange people. One of those people resides in Canada, so Wallace packs his stuff and heads up to the great white north. When his journey looks like a waste of time, a trip to a bathroom in a bar changes everything as he finds an ad from a man named Howard Howe (Michael Parks) who is looking for a companion, but with a twist. Sensing this is the perfect story, Wallace heads to Mr. Howe’s home where things don’t really go as he planned.
The first thing you must know is that this is not a Kevin Smith film, not that there is anything wrong with that. Smith has always stayed with what he knew, but what we get to see with “Tusk” is his growth as a filmmaker. Always known for his great dialogue and never for his directing skills, Smith puts both on display with this film. This is one of those movies you go in with no exceptions and just go on the ride and let it take you where it takes you. Smith’s already good dialogue gets taken to a different level with Parks reciting so many monologues, while everyone else also benefits from the words on the page. “Tusk” is something different for both Smith’s fans and movie fans alike and it’s something that will stay with you even after the credits roll. With another picture already filming we know that Smith has found his passion again and that is good for him and better for us if he continues on this path that leads to films as unique and as bold as this one.