Two punks live in Salt Lake City. The film covers their all-day routine. The realism of the character-narrated movie may be discussed. One of the punks gets ill, stays in hospital for three weeks, comes out again. Three parties are covered and one concert including a fight between punks, rednecks and others.Written by
Entertaining, but not the quintessential 80's punk movie it sets out to be
On initially watching this movie I wanted to give it a higher rating, because all in all it was fast-paced and entertaining. The dialog was good enough and there was plenty of humor and action. One stylistic criticism is that Stevo's voice-over was poorly utilized. In movies where the method works, such as Fight Club and A Clockwork Orange, the voice-over was used moderately so as to represent the narrator's perspective through comments where it would otherwise be unclear rather than summarize things that could have been shown instead of told or were already happening on screen. Overall, it seemed to be a low-budget attempt to emulate Trainspotting's style.
On further reflection, however, it's clear that this movie is geared towards 90's hipsters who don't know anything about punk rock and only recognize it for its fashionistas and punk bands that were slow and poppy enough to make it to the mainstream. Disappointingly, there seemed to be more classical music in its soundtrack than genuine 80's hardcore songs. Despite Stevo's railings against 'posers,' he and his friends seemed to be trying too hard with their image to take any of his 'anarchist' rhetoric seriously. Nor is anarchism even close to being the only ideology which identifies with punk. Contrary to this movie's attempt to portray punks as being to the 80's what hippies were to the 60's, the genre is far too diverse and divergent to make the point stick. Along with druggies there were straight edgers, along with anarchists there were fascists, and along with all of them there were people who just didn't care one way or the other. SLC Punk attempted to use broad generalizations to display a small subsection within punk rock as being wholly representative for its target audience of outsiders. Within 80's hardcore, a shaved head, plain tee, and boots were far more common than a blue mohawk with tight leather pants.
SLC Punk never truly felt as though it was about the music or even the broader social scene so much as it was about a specific character, his specific problems, and his specific viewpoint.
The amorphous plot had been satisfactory until its ending, which had conclusions which were too black-and-white and didn't translate smoothly enough from the protagonist to his broader social situation. This could have been forgiven however, if not for the display of some of the most horrible and clichéd acting I've seen within memory from the two kids playing the flashback versions of Stevo and Bob. The amateurishness and total lack of quality in this scene speaks for itself.
I would only recommend this movie to someone with nothing else to do and who can take its portrayal of punk with more than a grain of salt.
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