Talon Marks

A Futile and Stupid Gesture

Bianca Martinez

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It is safe to say that all of us have seen at least one National Lampoon flick be it a quick snip-it of “Animal House” on TV while channel surfing or a portion of Caddyshack that you vaguely remember watching.

“A Futile and Stupid Gesture” is a Netflix original that centers on the life of Doug Kenney, co-creator of those aforementioned raunchy movies which have now gained cult classic status.

The biopic opens up on an older Doug Keeney, played by Martin Mull, who also doubles as the narrator.

What really draws the viewer in is how the movie opens up documentary style with the camera focused on Mull, who responds just as you would expect the co-founder of a raunchy satiric magazine to.

The flick tunes out into Keeney as a child in 1958 attending a funeral which obviously turned out to be his brother’s funeral, a fact you find out later then question why it was even included in the storyline anyways.

The movie then jumps into the late 60s, Keeney, this time portrayed by Will forte, somehow managed his way into Harvard where he writes for the Harvard Lampoon with his best friend, Henry Beard, played by Domhnall Gleeson, who looks nothing like the person he portrays. By the way, good job makeup department.

It then comes time for the hair-hat clad eccentrics to decide what to do with their lives, Keeney smitten with the magazine life encourages pipe puffin Beard to create their own magazine.

The National Lampoon with no obvious correlation with the Harvard Lampoon was sent into production in 1970 with the help of fellow smart-ass renegades.

Unfortunately, the movie does not center heavily too much on the National Lampoon Magazine era,the creation of magazine covers and article concepts all being lobbed into a montage.

Familiar faces in current comedy can be seen throughout the movie impersonating the “it” comedic actors of the 70s, such as Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, John Belushi and Gilda Radner.

Of course the actors look nothing like the comedians they are trying to portray and the wig work left much to be desired but it is a safe bet to place in saying that viewers will enjoy seeing their favorite comedic actors.

Which is all fine and dandy but if we are going to be given a man that is supposed to be serving Bill Murray for days then please, casting lady, give us as the kids say, Bill Murray “realness” not a pasty Jon Daly.

The acting was industry standard, none of the cast members should be expecting an Oscar for their role in this movie anytime soon.

The humor incorporated throughout the movie is pretty solid, which is really appreciated in a comedy movie, let me tell you.

Also, TITTIES. But I digress.

After a series of successful comedy records, the magazine somehow lands a movie deal because the record deal wasn’t explained enough as it is.

Animal House proved to be a success, mostly due to Keeney’s writing and mostly due to titties, which a thank you is well overdue to those perky mammary glands which were quintessential in 70s and 80s comedies.

Another movie was demanded from “National Lampoon” and thus 1980’s “Caddyshack” was born.

And of course, with the 80s along came cocaine, a shit ton of cocaine.

Along with most successful writers in those days, Keeney turned to the nose candy.

Keeney found himself hooked, unable to function, pissed at the snickering gopher in Caddyshack and in a drug rehab facility in where he ultimately commits suicide.

Yes, you read right.

Fuck you, “A Futile and Stupid Gesture” writers, you toyed with our emotions.

Despite the unnecessary mindfuck of incorporating an older Keeney, this movie is entertaining and deserves at least an eyeball’s worth of attention while the other one is focusing on the Instagrams.

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Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.
A Futile and Stupid Gesture