28 November 2012 7:49 PM, PST | SmellsLikeScreenSpirit | See recent SmellsLikeScreenSpirit news »

Writer-director Rick Alverson tests his audience from the get-go with an opening scene of such perverted over-indulgence that even Caligula may have needed to avert his eyes. It is as if Alverson is attempting to weed out the weak at heart from the audience, all the while setting the stage for a story of a sublimely unlikable, uber-wealthy man-child. Our incalculably immature anti-hero, Swanson (Tim Heidecker), exists somewhere in a cinematic universe between Chance Gardner (Hal Ashby's Being There) and Arthur Bach (Steve Gordon's Arthur). Stuck in the quagmire of a mid-thirties existential crisis, Swanson approaches life like a 12-year-old boy armed with far too much knowledge about prolapsed anuses -- unless he is just talking utter nonsense out his ass (as he does about hobos, Hitler, and feudalism). Swanson's philosophical ramblings play like a mockery of intellectualism or an half-hearted attempt to pass himself off as a worldly hipster. »

- Don Simpson

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