Saturday, May 12, 2007

Monkey Warfare (2006)

This film is a bit of a quandary, at least as far as The Law is concerned. Dan McKellar and Tracy Wright portray Dan and Linda, a dysfunctional couple in their thirties whose relationship glue is a 2-stage epoxy of dope smokin' and a dark secret from their past. They travel almost exclusively by bicycle. They are proceeding in a mutually unsatisfying stasis, subsisting as marginal players in the eBay economy, where they sell junk/treasures that they find or buy at yard sales. Then their dealer gets busted, upsetting the delicate weed/dark secret balance.
Susan (Nadia Litz), a nubile bicycle bud dealer, steps in to fill the weed void, only to bring the dark secret bubbling up from the depths of the bongwater. Dan encourages Nadia's interest in his collection of late 20th-century radical chic souvenirs, mostly as a way of encouraging Nadia's interest in himself, but Nadia takes it all a bit too seriously. I won't give away the ending, but there is some bicycle-based terrorism.
So, are Dan and Linda really losers? They do have a pretty marginal existence, but it's hard to tell if this has just been forced upon them by circumstance (the dark secret). They're also not perverts, though Dan has a fetish for girls on bikes, expressed in an entertaining montage of Toronto bicycle cuties and a vaguely erotic saddle-adjustment scene. Similarly, Susan is hard to pin down as a loser or a pervert, though she makes some morally troubling choices (not the pot selling).
Overall Monkey Warfare is an outlier with respect to The Law. Perhaps a new clause is called for.

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