A struggling screenwriter, a B-list druggie actor, and a kooky female director end up committing some violent crimes as they try to finish a script for a not yet green-lighted film. It's neon, it's tripped out, it's LA, it's candy-coated, it's acidly, and it's fake "Holly-weird". That's the blueprint of 2019's sporadic (and hammy) Berserk. Yup, it's my latest review (and my disquieted ode to aspiring troupers everywhere).
When a character in Berserk says, "we're gonna need another writer", I thought yeah, that makes sense. When another character says, "life's awesome" I thought no, not your spotted, lavish life as a nonchalant murderer. Finally, when yet another character says, "we're going to jail man", I thought you should go to jail. Heck, Christian Slater did three months for punching his girlfriend while high on cocaine and some fueled heroin.
Starring an overacting (and overreaching) Nick Cannon, a Deputy Dewey-like James Roday, a femme-fatale in Nora Amezeder, and an ego-tripped Rhys Wakefield (he's also the writer, producer, and director), Berserk is "berserker" as quasi, movie-within-a-movie remnants. Oh and I'm officially creeped out by the sight of drones at this point (just watch Berserk's balls-out second act and you'll see).
Berserk with a running time of 85 minutes, comes off as a screw loose black comedy mixed with plenty of drug use, saturated visuals, and lots of trite, Hollywood dreaming. Basically, it's part Very Bad Things, part Basic Instinct, and part Bad Times at the El Royale. Look for a chameleon as a metaphor, a pool as another metaphor, lots of "show off" Blade Runner flood lighting, a little double crossing, and visions of shrooming delight.
Bottom line: Berserk is messy, ambitious student film-making that seems to think it's more sagacious and groundbreaking than it really is. My rating: 2 stars Olaf. "I don't think sexy". Natch.