The Fanatic review – John Travolta plumbs the depths in grisly stalker flick | Film

This marks yet another rung down on John Travolta’s ladder of career ignominy after his most recent flops, Gotti and Speed Kills. It’s a grotesque drama in which Travolta plays a disturbed fan. It would be risible if it weren’t so offensive, mean-spirited and, frankly, nasty. Sporting a pudding-bowl haircut, too-small bike helmet and deploying an overdone shuffling gait, Travolta stars as Moose, an isolated obsessive living on the fringes of Los Angeles’ celebrity culture. At night, he busks for a living on Hollywood Boulevard – in costume as a British bobby (complete with Dick Van Dyke-style accent). The aim is to get enough scratch to fund his collection of movie memorabilia, a good chunk of which is devoted to his hero, one-time C-list action star Hunter Dunbar (Devon Sawa). When Moose’s only friend, paparazza Leah (Ana Golja) ill-advisedly shows Moose how to find out where Dunbar lives using a star-map phone app, she enables a serious bout of stalking that goes wrong.

On the surface, that all might make this sound like a ho-hum variant on the well-trodden crazed-stan genre that encompasses works both pulpy (such as The Fan) and potent (Misery, The King of Comedy). Former Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst, who writes and directs here, apparently was inspired by his own experience of being stalked by an admirer, which maybe accounts for the atmosphere of narcissistic self pity. But what really makes this film contemptible is Travolta’s deployment of classically autistic behaviours to portray Moose, a display made all the more sinister given its skill. But given the trajectory of the story, it’s as if we are meant to infer that Moose deserves to be punished for his condition.

On top of all that, there’s a sprinkling of misogyny, faint racism and class snobbery that makes this an unpleasant watch any way you slice it.

Source: The Guardian

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *