1 October 2008 | Wolf30x
Not sure how to feel about it
This movie left me in a strangely ambivalent state after I watched it, because I'm not sure if I'm judging it on its actual merits, or my expectations. Having been a fan of Chuck Palahniuk's novel, I was expecting something brash, frenetic and perfectly offensive, but in a good way. The problem is that while the novel was blunt and vulgar, spelling out every bit of Victor Mancini's sexual exploits in almost academic detail, the movie stops a bit short of pushing the edge and instead leaves a lot of it up to suggestion.
Another reason that I'm not sure how I felt about it is because the director took a unique approach to the work that I'm still trying to decide if I liked or not. You see, Chuck Palahniuk's novels have a very distinctive narrative style to them, and in Fight Club (also based on one of Chuck's books,) director David Fincher emulated it perfectly. I'm talking mostly about Chuck's usage of repetition with lines such as "I am Jack's colon," Choke's director, Clark Gregg chose not to emulate this and instead brought the text of the book to life without mimicking it's distinctive narrative. So if you're a fan of Chuck's work, this may bother you. On the other hand, it does help Choke stand out on its own merits and not feel like it's trying to build off of the success of Fight Club.
So for those of you who haven't read the book, how does it stand? Well as I said before, considering how much more graphic and indecent this movie's source material was, I think the movie missed out on a lot of its potential. I almost feel like Clark Gregg went too easy on all of the characters making them come off as sympathetic when they worked better as being completely hopeless. It's also not as funny as it could have been, since a lot of Victor's (the protagonist's) interactions with everybody from the sex addicts, to the people in the historic reenactment village to the people he pretends to choke for, were all summarized too much, and had much more potential for comedy. Overall i'd say this movie is alright, but could have been done better.