In 2009, when Los Angeles' last city park is closed to the public, a dispossessed man -- and the duck who follows him as a mother -- quest west, on foot, in search of water and meaning, in the desert that is L.A.
A blighted Los Angeles in 2009. Arthur is recently widowed, his savings wiped out by his wife's illness. Their only son is long dead. Alone, Arthur adopts and is adopted by a duckling he names Joe. Saved from suicide, Arthur's life becomes caring for Joe and keeping clean a pond on land near his son's memorial tree. Homelessness awaits Arthur, and although he experiences a great deal of unkindness - from a bus driver, motorists, and animal control officers - he also offers and finds kindness. The pond drained, Arthur and Joe head west on a picaresque journey. Is there room for angels in Los Angeles? Written by
Written by Leonard Cohen, Sharon Robinson
Performed by Leonard Cohen
Courtesy of Columbia Records and Sony Music Entertainment (Canada) Inc
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
Published by Sony/ATV Songs LLC (BMI) and Robinhill Music (ASCAP) See more »
This movie will make you lose all faith in the human race
The positive reviews* on IMDb are very misleading. This story is not a cute, sentimental frolic for animal lovers. It's a very bitter, pessimistic nightmare where all human beings are cruel & malicious predators who abuse the weak. I feel sorry for any person who has such a cynical, distorted view of the world. Funny, I thought Fox News had the monopoly on xenophobia, but here we get it doubly thick from the opposite end of the political spectrum.
A mild-mannered old man loses his family, his friends, his home and his money, so he decides to live on the streets of Los Angeles with a duck. In what amounts to a paranoid nightmare, he is mocked, ridiculed, threatened, assaulted, arrested and treated like crap by every human being he meets (as well as a dog). And it never lets up. It's like watching a quadriplegic trying to go 15 rounds with Mike Tyson while his pet duck goes 15 rounds with Michael Vick. And there's no referee in sight.
I'm not exaggerating; the old man meets douchebag after douchebag for the entire length of the movie, and each time he manages to escape for only a moment before meeting another douchebag. Everyone is a douchebag: landlords, garbage men, construction workers, motorists, firefighters, police officers, overprotective mothers, college kids, yuppies, bus drivers, Chinese delivery boys, other homeless people, born again Christians, and of course animal control officers (duh!). This movie makes you hate all human beings.
For that reason, it's the worst movie I've seen in years. What is it trying to accomplish? Spread more distrust, rage and cynicism in the world? The few feeble swats at humour are completely inappropriate, like cracking a joke at the World Trade Center ruins.
You may have noticed that I barely mentioned the titular character: the duck. That is because, contrary to what you're led to believe, this movie is not about a duck. It's about an old man getting kicked around by society for 90 minutes, and he happens to be hauling a duck under his arm. Oh, and a warning to animal lovers: don't be surprised to see the duck getting manhandled, chased and even vomited upon.
I can't stress enough how depressing and corrosive to the soul this movie is. I'm sure it had good intentions, which is why I'm giving it even 2 stars. But jeez, save yourself the aggravation. Or save yourself $5... Go down to the department of motor vehicles and try to get a license with no forms of ID. If you really enjoy hating the human race, be creative about it. You don't need some hack director telling you the world sucks.
*About the positive "reviews" here on IMDb. Click on the authors' names and you'll notice they haven't reviewed any other movies. Some have the audacity to post spam links to the official Duck website so you can buy the DVD for $19.99. Hey, I'm all for self-promotion, but misleading the public is just plain tacky.
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