The Movie Out Here

I wish I was making this up. The Movie Out Here is based on Kokanee. For those who don’t live in (Western?) Canada, Kokanee is a beer company. They had advertisements that people like, primarily involving a park ranger played John Novak hunting down Sasquatch. Kokanee decided that it could make a whole movie based on its beer commercials — kind of, at least; that plays a role in it — so they did. The result is The Movie Out Here, a “comedy.”

There is slightly more of a plot than the commercials had, which I’m not necessarily thinking is positive. The film takes place primarily in Fernie, British Columbia, and involves a Toronto lawyer named Adam (Robin Neilsen) attempting to save the business of one of his lifelong friends, Theo (James Wallis), along with another friend, Jason (Viv Leacock). They need to figure out a way to raise $15,000 in a weekend, or Theo will be homeless and out of a job. They decide to throw a big party, but obstacles wind up getting in their way. Big obstacles, like not having enough Kokanee.

I’m being cynical. The film isn’t just about product placement and advertisement, even though that’s exactly why it’s been made. It’s about friendship and figuring out what you want out of life. Those are the lofty ambitions of The Movie Out Here. Mostly, though, it just wants to sell its product. If it brings you some laughs along the way, that’s good, but its creators don’t really care. This is a movie made by a company to sell its company to people. Nothing more.

There are some laughs to be had from The Movie Out Here. There aren’t enough of them to justify watching this elongated commercial, but there are more than a couple. Canadian viewers will be happy to see someone like Marty McSorley show up for a couple of scenes, although I wager that type of cameo will be lost on anyone not from the Great White North. And, even for Canadians, is Snow a big enough name to get you excited? I mean, is that the biggest name the film could draw?

If you must know, much of the humor is obscene or excessive. Is it fun watching an old lady kick a man between the legs several times? Um, maybe. How about listening to the main villain continually mess up profane insults? Again, I suppose so. Or, what about a mean boss, who often delivers explicit dialogue? You can see where I’m going with this. It might be funny and to a point I thought it was. It breaks past that point midway through, and I stopped laughing. Actually, the jokes dry up a great deal midway through anyway, as the plot “ramps up,” but what was left wasn’t making me laugh.

I was expecting The Movie Out Here to delve further into the culture of this particular region of Canada. All it does is revel in eccentricities. There’s one scene in which I felt like a genuine observation was being made, but for the rest of the time it was just watching non-existent caricatures do silly or profane things because they’ve been scripted to do so. There’s nothing to be gained other than a couple of cheap laughs here or there.

That’s not worth sitting through this advertisement of a movie. The Movie Out Here is not funny enough to justify its existence. I suppose some credit has to be given to the filmmakers for at least trying to bring a story and jokes to the table, but it’s impossible to shake the feeling that it was commissioned solely to sell beer. A better use of your time would be to watch the actual Kokanee commercials featuring The Ranger. They’re funnier and ultimately tell a better story. And you won’t waste anywhere near as much time watching them.

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