The World’s Greatest Dad review

28 Sep

The World’s Greatest Dad
Comedians in the world of film are a very peculiar thing. There are many comedians who have ventured into this world, each with varying degrees of success. Sometimes they make genuinely funny films which are truly original (although these examples are somewhat rare), such as Steve Martin in the Jerk or the Man with Two Brains, or Danny Boon in Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis. Occasionally they produce films of astounding mediocrity, such as Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy in everything they’ve done since the 1980’s.
The World’s Greatest Dad is the latest film to star Robin Williams, and is safe to say that it firmly falls into the former of those categories. This film marks a return by Robin Williams to the halcyon days of his greatest character acting. His performance easily matches that of his in One Hour Photo and in Good Will Hunting, and in doing so propels this man back to the top of his game.
As far as plot is concerned, the World’s Greatest Dad also sparkles, for the greatness of this film is not singly attributed to Williams’ performance, but a combination of story, comedy andperformance. We follow Lance Clayton, creative writing teacher at the local high school, as he negotiates the various lows that his life is comprised of. He has an art teacher girlfriend who refuses to make their relationship official within the school and who runs around with other men. He also has Kyle, his son. Kyle is a recluse, Kyle is dumb, Kyle is angry and Kyle is a pervert. Conversations about German schizer porn and masturbating to the sight of old ladies undressing is all in a day’s work for Kyle. Kyle is also into autoerotic asphyxiation (that’s strangling yourself while having a wank to you and me) which proves to be somewhat fatal later into the film and it is this event that forms the cornerstone of the film’s plot. Lance discovers his son, dead in a chair, and is understandably fraught and understandably perturbed. Unwilling to see his son remembered as a pervert he fabricates a suicide and writes Kyle a suicide note, and in a scene which defines this film’s sense of humour, cleans his deceased son’s crotch with a grimace on his face in an attempt to cover things up.
This brings us to the comedic element of this film. The World’s Greatest Dad is funny, but is funny on a level with Dr Strangelove or The Last Supper. The humour on display here is unabashedly blacker than midnight and defines the dry tone and acerbic wit present throughout.
In short, this film possesses many qualities which should earn it a view from you, the reader. This film won’t be big, or award winning, but it will make you chuckle darkly, feel lucky and above all, question yourself.
5/5 *****/*****
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