Movie Review: EVERYTHING MUST GO (2010)
Starring: Jake Lyall, Ross Turner, Bill Buell, Allison Sullivan
Written by: Mick Stern/Len Dell’Amico
Directed by: Len Dell’Amico
Everything Must Go is the first narrative feature from Len Dell’Amico, who may be best known to hippies everywhere as the man behind such Greatful Dead concert videos as Truckin’ Up To Buffalo and Downhill From Here. Being as I am not big into Grateful Dead, outside of the Cherry Garcia ice cream inspired by the group’s late frontman Jerry Garcia, I didn’t have this knowledge going on so I am an impartial judge when it comes to this movie. So how was Mr. Dell’Amico first movie? Well, to sum it up in one word: “feh”.
Taking place in the near future, English-born actor Jake Lyall stars as Mac, a former drug addict who has lost his job at a nano-tech company as well as his girlfriend (and her daughter, which he looks at as his daughter). Depressed and on a downward spiral, Mac decides to jump back on the bandwagon of Oxy-Contin and gets his slacker, slightly disturbed friend Bobby (Ross Turner) to help him score his precious pills.
From there, Everything Must Go turns into something…kind of different, yet kind of generic. It’s a road movie in every sense of the word; instead of, say, trying to make it back in time for the birth of a child, Mac and Bobby’s end quest is pills. Lots and lots of pills. Along the way, they run into some quirky characters and Bobby channels “DJ 9000”, a disc jockey from another dimension, who spews out random bits of wisdom. This all goes on as the world around them slowly comes to an end.
If there’s supposed to be comedy in Everything Must Go, someone didn’t seem to inform the actors. The attempt at humor falls flat in most cases, save for Bobby and his general insanity. Jake Ayell’s Mac is a complete cardboard cutout of a character, with no certifiable emotions or interesting facets. It’s not a good sign when a movie’s main character is uninteresting, but that is unfortunately the case here. I can’t comment on Ayell’s ability because, frankly, there is nothing for him to do here except be a recovering drug addict (which there are absolutely no hints of other than they tell you) and deal with the craziness of Bobby.
And thank god for the insanity of Bobby, or I would have checked out of Everything Must Go a lot quicker. This is Ross Turner’s movie, no doubt; he gets the interesting character, the monologues and diatribes, and he comes off as a guy off his meds and possibly on something harder. The most interesting parts of Everything Must Go are when Bobby is under the trance of the supposed otherworldly DJ 9000. That’s when Dell’Amico takes chances and changes up the visuals; when the monologue is being delivered (alternates between wisdom and pablum), it goes into a montage of art, laser lights (total hippie move there), and other flourishes that keep the movie watchable.
Along with that, the whole subplot of the world’s seeming collapse was an interesting concept that would have been great…if done in another movie. While Mac and Bobby hunt for their Oxy, we’re treated to video clips of news reports about meltdowns and impending destruction. There’s an especially great moment, the best scene of the entire film, where Mac and Bobby watch a crazy reverend (played by the real-life nutjob Reverend Billy) spew on about the impending apocalypse. His whole spiel about not coveting the body of a woman while then going into detail how that body may look was absolutely hilarious. Unfortunately, then the meaningless road trip gets in the way. I wanted more DJ 9000 and impending apocalypse, and less “useless hunt for drugs”.
I’m sure there’s an underlying message I missed, about how we’re causing our own destruction and such, but when it boils down to it,Everything Must Go is just…okay at best, boring at worst. The main character is completely pointless and overshadowed by the more overzealous friend (who seems like the filmmakers were channeling their views through). The interesting elements (impending apocalypse, the DJ from another dimension) are just sideplots to a plot that has no real point. The quirky characters they meet aren’t even that quirky, which lends itself to a boring road movie. All in all, Everything Must Go is passable, but this is not a movie that needs to be sought out and seen by anyone; fans of Grateful Dead will suffice.