Sep 3, 2014

Review: Swearnet: The Movie (2014)

I wouldn't be a true Canadian 23-year old male if I said that I didn't like Canadian TV-series Trailer Park Boys. Maybe I wouldn't even be a true 23-year old male if I said I didn't like Canadian TV-series Trailer Park Boys. That's a scary thought. But I do and I remember the days of being in high school trying to find something cool to watch on TV in the 9:00-9:30 PM range before I'd have to make my way to bed. My parents were strict. I remember channel surfing and falling on the opening credits of TPB on Showcase. I was intrigued and so began my long, love affair with the show.

The series about three drunk, dope smoking idiots officially ended back in 2008. It's back on Netflix though, in the coming weeks I think, which is definitely big news. Also of importance, the rights to the show and characters officially belong to the three main actors; Mike Smith, John Paul Tremblay and Robb Wells. It's all the same a bit worrisome that Mike Clattenberg who directed, wrote and produced the show since the beginning is now gone and these duties now rest in the hands of the boys. For me, Swearnet: The Movie is a big hint in terms of how Season 8 is going to be.


Genre: comedy
Directed by: Warren P. Sonoda
Produced by: Gary Howsam, Bill Marks, Mike Smith, etc.
Written by: Mike Smith, John Paul Tremblay, Robb Wells
Music by: Blain Morris
Running time: 112 minutes
Production company: Swearnet
Distributed by: E1 Films Canada, Dada Films
Country: Canada
Language: English
Budget: N/A
Box office: N/A

IMDb entry
Rotten Tomatoes entry

Starring: Robb Wells, John Paul Tremblay, Mike Smith, Patrick Roach, Tom Green, Scott 'Carrot Top' Thompson, Mishael Morgan, Sarah Jurgens, Shannon Leroux, Dana Woods, Howard Jerome, Leigh MacInnis, Ann Pirvu, Emily Mountford, Fiona Carver, Daniel Lillford, Liam Card



Mike Smith, John Paul Tremblay and Robb Wells play themselves and they remain big icons on the scene for their work in Trailer Park Boys. The thing is, they don't own the rights to the characters or the show and anyway, they want to move on. They want to focus on new projects. A meeting with executives at CNT put them in a tough position though. Their ideas are too outlandish and there's too much profanity. Unless they're willing to compromise, there won't be any shows at all. While sitting in a jail cell after a scuffle with said executives, the boys come up with the idea for an internet channel of their own, where they can do whatever shows they want with all the swearing they want too. By charging $5 a month, they'll strike it rich.


I guess I'll begin by addressing the "characters" that Mike Smith, John Paul Tremblay and Robb Wells play. Mike Smith is probably the big shocker here. From the kind-hearted Coke glasses wearing Bubbles, Smith has turned into an animal. A scary one to be honest. He had his moments but at times he goes too far and left me not really liking his character at all. John Paul Tremblay basically plays Julian from TPB and Ricky, er, Robb Wells plays a much toned down version of Ricky. Essentially, Robb Wells has passed the torch of mischief and idiocy to Mike Smith which is pretty amusing I'll admit. Seeing Robb Wells get all fuddled when he displeases his girlfriend is honestly great stuff.

Pat Roach gets the worst of it though, being forced to play Swearman. As his name indicates, he swears a whole lot and this is aided by a diet of lots and lots of alcohol. Roach comes off as a complete fool and not really in a good way. There are some gross out gags involving his gut that one ended up being funny. But when he's the main attraction and not a gag, Swearman isn't funny and he's painful to watch. All the same, I'll give Pat some props for being willing to bare it all for the sake of comedy.

Swearnet: The Movie has a lot of swearing. Trailer Park Boys is a G-rated show in comparison to what is said in S:TM. To be honest, the swearing passes the threshold of being funny way too many times. One of the funny things about TPB would be the made up swearing insults that mostly Ricky would come up with on the spot. In S:TM, the same thing is done and there are many, many such examples. They come off as gross and ruin the flow of the story more than once. Swearnet has a half-baked story sure, but there's a problem when the swearing goes into overdrive and makes the movie indecipherable. There also is too much of a focus on getting in gratuitous shots of female skin. I suppose that needs to be done to erase the images of naked Pat Roach, but it just feels very lowest common denominator.

Clearly the heavy emphasis on swearing is done just for show. Swearnet: The Movie is at its best when it's putting the boys in ridiculous, drug-fueled situations. It's when they're in confrontations with Tom Green and Carrot Top with tons and tons of yelling. It's when they're being hounded by a lone shark and his little person lackey. There are tons of great and hilarious moments in this movie, moments that make me recall the quality grease that was Trailer Park Boys. These moments make this movie a passable one.

Swearnet: The Movie is not a movie to be analyzed the same way you'd analyze usual ones. Things like cinematography and story don't really matter too much. I am glad that things like friendship and family are the backbone of the story as was the case in everything TPB. I'm still kind of reeling from the overboard, machine gun swearing as well as some male nudity, but traces of what made Sunnyvale such a fun place to be in are still here and there. I still have hope that the new season of Trailer Park Boys can work. It's simple anyway, just take Swearnet, set it in Sunnyvale and tone it down.



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