Clark Gregg’s “Choke.”


Choke is a mean, mean-spirited film.  That’s not a bad thing. In fact, some of the best parts about this film are it’s darkest – particularly at the end of the film. Until those moments, however, the film isn’t just mean, it’s uninteresting. Only when something unexpected shows up and blindsides you does it perk up, but until then – aside from a strong performance by Sam Rockwell – it’s just one curtly shot scene after another of a dick acting like a dick, while struggling to sate his sexual addiction. Which could’ve worked, if they’d done something with it. I mean, I get it, but it’s neither funny or particularly biting – I haven’t read Palanhiuk’s novel, but knowing what I do of his writing, there was far more that could have been done with it – and, I kind of found it hard to care, about Victor Mancini, or his relation to Jesus, or his mother (of which we’re informed of in sepia-toned flashbacks) .

This is an admittedly brief review, but there’s not really a lot to write about, here. It’s the directorial debut of the guy from The New Adventures of Old Christine, and – well, it’s  not something that’s going to make anybody sit up and say, “This kid’s a real porker! I’d better keep my good eye on him!” It’s mean, but perhaps not mean- or involving – enough for that to matter, most of the time and because of that, what blacker moments there are stick out like a broken thumb. The cinematography is  kind of rote, as well, but that seems par for the course.

The film ‘choked.’ (Yes, I made the pun you were all thinking of.)

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