TL;DR – A truly bizarre ride from start to finish
Score – Three anthropomorphized monkeys out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
There are films that dip their toes into the absurd with riots of colour, nonsensical timelines and sets a missing. Well, there are films that just dip their toes in and then there are films that dive in the deep end without checking if the lifeguard is on duty. Today we look at a short film that is very much the latter.
It is really hard to get a handle on just what this film is. One the one hand it is a standard noir police interrogation with all the trappings (black and white, 1940s lingo, cigarettes etc). A cop trying to get a perp to admit that they were the murderer. However, the only difference is that the Detective is played by David Lynch and the perp is a monkey called Jack Cruz who has a deep love for a chicken called Tootatabon. Strangely even that description does not give this particular film the merit that it is due.
The question is, that once you have explored all the absurdity of the setting does the film actually work? Well yes and no. There is this weird uncanny valley effect of the talking monkey with human type lips. This would be a big problem if the length was any longer than it actually is. So it does not outstay its welcome and sits in that weird moment for all its run time. The story of the scenario itself was probably the weakest part of the whole film as it kind of dances all over the place and ends in an oddly unresolved place.
In the end, do we recommend What Did Jack Do? Well, yes and no. If you want to watch a very absurdist 17 minutes of a film about a man confronting a talking monkey, then this is the film for you. If that does not sound like your jam then your gut is probably right on this one. If you like a slightly less absurd take on Noir while still being very entertaining, I would recommend Bad Times at the El Royale.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of What Did Jack Do?
Directed by – David Lynch
Written by – David Lynch
Music/Lyrics by – David Lynch & Dean Hurley
Cinematography by – Scott Ressler
Edited by – David Lynch
Production/Distribution Companies – Absurda, Fondation Cartier Pour L’art Contemporain & Netflix
Starring – David Lynch, Emily Stofle, Jack Cruz & Toototabon
Rating – Australia: M;