So I honestly thought that there was no way in hell one could conceive a sequel the to the amazingly awesome "Donnie Darko" but since Hollywood deems it necessary that everything either needs a sequel, prequel, or remake then I guess this was the best possible solution. That and I'm a sucker for franchises.
Needless to say I did not have high expectations for "S. Darko", being as it was straight to video and the complexity and 'have to watch it a billion times to even catch everything' side of the first film, this was going to be a long shot. But, in the end, I was definitely on the pleasantly surprised side of the fence for this one.
Fans of the first film (and you HAVE to see it to even begin to crack into this one) are going to find a lot of things to love about this one. It does keep it pretty faithful to the style and approach of "Donnie" with its use of music from the era (this time its the 90s!), the slow and fast motion shots and lots of wacky shit, I still can't wrap my mind on what the hell that glowing feather really is, and of course, the rabbit from hell. I was curious to see how they made the rabbit fit in this time as it was so situational specific for "Donnie" but without giving away spoilers, they made it work.
At times, I felt "S. Darko" tried almost too hard to be like the first film and it had some almost predictable moments due to that. We know these films have that hidden Sci-Fi time travel aspect, but this time its almost just mushed into the story rather than unraveled out again...(one of my big complaints is that it takes Donnie extensive brain blows to figure out how to make time travel work and yet in this one it seems like child's play and anyone can do it).
Bringing back Ms. Chase as S. Darko was a pretty sick move and considering how well she pulled off this film I was thoroughly impressed. as for most of the other parts, they were done well but not to the high expectations this man had. I wanted them to delve more into the Preacher character and explain that sub plot a wee bit more but I understand that they probably didn't have the budget to fully flesh that one out. Otherwise props to Ms. Chase for a job well done.
I have to say that I did enjoy this film quite a bit. Being a "Donnie Darko" fan from the beginning (before it blew up and went all Hot Topic and shit!) this did fill my craving for some more wacky hidden Sci Fi work. It was far more clever of a sequel then I was expecting and here's to hoping they make a few more that deliver like this one did!
Written By Matt Reifschneider