Drunkboat

A film titled Drunkboat that’s bookended by the sights of a bald John Malkovich waking up in an alley trash-bag pile next to a hen and then of a haired, dazed Malkovich standing in the rain holding a featherless chicken should by rights be more interesting than this incoherent drama. Director Bob Meyer’s pretentious mess begins with drunken Mort (Malkovich) witnessing his runaway nephew take a barroom beating, which somehow motivates him to visit the home of sister Eileen (Dana Delany), where he stands outside for days like a zombie until she invites him in. Shortly thereafter, she leaves him in charge of teen son Abe (Jacob Zachar), who plans to flee to a fanciful Lake Michigan island by buying a leaky sailboat from shady dealer Fletcher (John Goodman). Even that synopsis makes this mishmash sound more lucid than it is, as the story is awash in characters rambling on about non sequitur nonsense (Vietnam, tree houses) and made more affected still by Meyer’s reliance on cornball slow-motion. Making heads or tails of this turgid tale, however, is beside the point; its ultimate purpose, other than to feature Zachar’s preternatural gift for unnatural line readings, is simply to function as a vehicle for pure Malkovichian weirdness. Nick Schager

 
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