The Chumbscrubber Arie Posin

On paper, The Chumbscrubber looks like a bona fide independent hit. The cast reads like so: Glenn Close, William Fichtner, Ralph Fiennes, Allison Janney, Carrie-Anne Moss, Rory Culkin, John Heard, Rita Wilson and Lou "Thumbsucker" Pucci. And the film's lead star, Jamie Bell, has been impressive in a string of recent American flicks. Not too shabby, right? Well, somewhere along the way of making this film, say during approving Zac Stanford's final draft of the screenplay, director Arie Posin turned what could have been a promising black comedy into a big, inane mess. When Dean's (Bell) best friend Charlie (Culkin) is found dead of an apparent suicide, the most important question isn't what drove him to it but how can a couple of low-life teenagers get the drugs Charlie had stashed for them? Cue a blackmail hostage taking gone wrong, a dolphin-obsessed mayor who may or may not be clinically demented, a wedding bound for disaster, and, well, blah, blah, blah. The biggest problem (amongst many) is that The Chumbscrubber busies itself with a number of underlying sub-plots that do nothing to help the main story develop, which isn't even remotely of interest in the first place. And don't get me started about the shameful, exploitative bid to turn this into a Donnie Darko-esque psychodrama, where Dean is led by a demonic voice who ends up being Charlie, aka the Chumbscrubber, some kind of sloppy super being. The script is obtuse, way out of control, and beyond sensibility. As the main credits roll by you'll understand in full why it went straight to DVD. That is if you can last that long. (Dreamworks/Universal)