MRR Review: "Bad Johnson"

Photo Credit: Gravitas Ventures

Rating: R
Length: 88 minutes
Release Date: May 2, 2014
Directed by: Jeff Tetreault
Genre: Comedy/Fantasy

Fans of outrageous comedies are in for a real treat when they buy a ticket to the new film "Bad Johnson." The raunchy storyline by screenwriter Huck Botko revolves around a hunky ladies' man named Rich who is unable to keep his womanizing ways under control. Although the plot concerns an event that is fantasy and not reality, the movie deals with real issues such as establishing genuine relationships that last for the long term. This is one of those rare films that manages to examine an important topic using both heartfelt emotions and shocking humor.

Rich Johnson, played by the handsome Cam Gidgandet, is a serial philanderer who is unable to stay faithful to his girlfriend. Although Rich would like to be able to control his sexual urges, he keeps getting involved with other women. Rich hopes that he can establish a solid relationship with his latest girlfriend, Jamie, but when she catches Rich with another woman, that hope is dashed.

After losing Jamie because of his rampant libido, Rich is horrified at his own behavior and expresses the desire to not even have a male organ. In a fantastic turn of events, Rich's wish is granted. When he wakes up the next morning, this crucial part of his anatomy has disappeared. Even more amazingly, his male member has been transformed into an actual human being. The male organ turned male human, played really well by comedian Nick Thule, takes up residence in Rich's apartment and proceeds to turn his life upside down.

The boldness of the premise might be difficult for some viewers to accept if the execution was not so expertly handled. The film's director, Jeff Tetreault, keeps the tone very light during this section of the film. The laughs come fast and furious, and the audience is too busy enjoying themselves to worry about the plausibility of the situation. Tetreault gets a larger-than-life performance from Nick Thule, which keeps the spectators amused and glued to the screen.

Thule's character is so far out of control that he becomes the bane of Rich's existence. The humanized "johnson" is continually getting involved in superficial relationships himself and using Rich's apartment for his assignations. Rich realizes he is going to have to get this unwanted character out of his life if he is ever going to settle down and be happy in a stable relationship.

The fantasy of having Rich's male member turn into a human being is a raunchy development, but it is also the key part of the story. Rich needs to learn that there is more to life than simply giving in to his sexual urges. Having his male organ take human form lets Rich see the negative effects that his out-of-control physical desires have had on others. Rich realizes that his selfish behavior is what is preventing him from finding happiness. It takes a miraculous event to show him the error of his ways.

As he realizes how shortsighted and foolish he has been, Rich tries to change his life and become more responsible. He begins a new relationship with an attractive woman who frequents the gym where he works. The woman, played by Katherine Cunningham, brings out a side of Rich that he did not even know existed. Meanwhile, Rich must figure out a way to get his humanized male organ under control for good.

The latter part of the film switches back and forth between the bizarre and over-the-top antics of the Nick Thule character and the more sedate scenes where Rich comes to terms with his flaws and works on changing his behavior. The director handles this section of the film especially well. Switching between humorous and more dramatic scenes in the same film is not always easy, but Jeff Tetreault is up to the challenge. His deft handling of the tricky subject matter helps to make this film a funny and thought-provoking experience.

"Bad Johnson" is a singular film with a unique, perhaps even controversial, premise. The movie is not simply an attempt to shock the audience with a sensational plot twist. The screenwriter and the director use the outlandish situation to explore an important aspect of modern life. The film forces audiences to think about how gratifying all desires can hurt other people.

Everyone who takes a trip to the local movie theater to see "Bad Johnson" is virtually certain to be entertained by the film's eccentric and unorthodox humor. They are also going to be given some food for thought.