tisdag 10 september 2019

The Fanatic

Everyone loves some famous personality, no matter if it is a singer, movie star, sport star, author, or perhaps a famous TV chef. Being a fan is ok, as long as you respect famous people private lives. I have all kinds of favourite actors, and favourite bands. Let me give you one example of a band that has been a big part of my life, especially when i was 20 years old in 1997. Back then the metal band Limp Bizkit released their debut album Three Dollar Bill Y´all, and did not get a lot of airplay here in Sweden. I remember hearing the song Counterfeit on Swedish Tv channel ZTV, and i was hooked up. Fred Durst, frontman of the band Limp Bizkit, combined with guitar player Wes Borland, the drum technique from John Otto, the bass lines from John Otto, and the beats from Dj Lethal, transformed me. And even more 2 years later when they released their next album Significant Other ( the album that started their massive fan base, including in Sweden ). I followed this band for many years, even went to see them live in Stockholm, Copenhagen and Amsterdam. And when i was at the live shows, you could see how crazy fans could be, trying to meet the band for autographs. When we think of fans going crazy in films, we have a few titles to choose between. And one film especially came to my mind, and that is the 1996 thriller The Fan with legendary actor Robert De Niro and Wesley Snipes. Directed by Tony Scott, this film tells the story of baseball fan Gil Renard ( played by Robert De Niro ) who is obsessed with baseball player Bobby Rayburn. The Fan is actually a pretty good psychological thriller. What if a disturbing man follows his favourite actor around, even visiting his personal home ? This is something that happens in the new film The Fanatic, directed by Limp Bizkit singer Fred Durst. Is this a surprisingly good psychological thriller, or Another straight to DVD release with John Travolta no one will remember ?

Moose ( John Travolta ) is an enormous fan of action movie star Hunter Dunbar ( Devon Sawa ), hoping to get his autograph. Moose is an autistic man, and he have problems understanding what is ok to do, and what is not ok. When Moose walks up to Hunter, begging for an autograph, Hunter is not happy. Moose is not giving up, he is going to get his autograph, no matter what he has to do.

I feel very divided on the film The Fanatic. I like the concept of this film, how things can go wrong when a fan has no limits to see their favourite actor. But it becomes pretty clear that this film can´t be taken serious, especially when there are some scenes that does not fit in with the main character Moose. Just look at the scenes when Moose tries to act as a British police officer on the streets of Hollywood. First of all, i seriously doubt that Moose would be able to do a character like that, when he barely can understand what is right and wrong in human behavior. I also find it very strange that this film have drawings of Moose, being painted as a painting in some scenes, for no good reason. I don´t know what the point is with these drawings, maybe to show another perspective on the life of Moose. I think we need to talk about the characters for a while. Lead actor, the legendary John Travolta ( so many classics sch as Carrie, Pulp Fiction and Face/Off ) as the fan Moose, is actually interesting in some odd way. I have never seen Travolta do a character like this, and for that i must say that this is a daring choice for him, trying something completely different. There are some scenes where he manage to give us an image of how the mind of Moose works, and it becomes clear that he have autism. Travolta acts over the top, but i think that is good in certain scenes. Actor Devon Sawa ( mostly known from the first Final Destination movie ) is actually not bad as the character Hunter Dunbar, the action star that Moose loves. Hunter is clearly an asshole, and Devon manage to capture that personality. The other characters in this film does not leave any big impression. My biggest problem with The Fanatic is that this is not an effective psychological thriller. I like the idea of an obsessed fan, but The Fanatic does not use this idea in a very effective way. John Travolta saves this film from falling apart. Director Fred Durst seems to have a vision of how it could be to be stalked by crazy fans. Unfortunately, he does not dig deep enough into the mind of Moose, and make this film pretty forgettable instead. The Fanatic is not going to be remembered as one of John Travolta´s better films. I am happy though he tried to do this character, even if the final results is not what i was hoping for.

Rating: DD

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