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S. Darko: A Donnie Darko Tale

1 rating: -3.0
A movie directed by Chris Fisher

In this sequel to Richard Kelly's 2001 cult hit, seven years have passed since the bizarre and tragic death of Donnie Darko. His now-18-year-old sister, Samantha, is traveling down a lonely desert road with her best friend when their car breaks down. … see full wiki

Cast: Matt Davis
Director: Chris Fisher
Genre: Sci-Fi, Thriller
Release Date: May 12, 2009
MPAA Rating: R
1 review about S. Darko: A Donnie Darko Tale

S. Darko: A Donnie Darko Tale - 2009

  • Apr 9, 2011
Pros: the rabbit mask was fairly cool

Cons: horribly written, bad acting

The Bottom Line:
"No_way of_knowing if she's ever coming back
No_way of_knowing if I care or not
No_way of_knowing if she's right or if she's wrong
No_way of_knowing if I'll carry on"
~The Chemical Brothers

Well, there went two hours of my life watching S. Darko: A Donnie Darko Tale, directed by Chris Fisher.   It is rated R for language, violent content, and drug use.   It, with no surprise, was nominated for no awards.

The story:
About the only thing vaguely related to the outstanding Donnie Darko is the name.   We pick up the story 7 years after Donnie was killed by the mysterious falling plane that did not exist, according to authorities.    As they state on the DVD extras, this is not to be considered a sequel but, rather, a continuation of the story.   Sure.

In this film we are following the life of Samantha Darko, Donnie's younger sister.   She is now grown and restless.   Her brother is dead, her sister married and moved on, parents are a shambles.   So Sam sets out with her friend, Corey, for the bright lights of L.A., to become a dancer at a club owned Corey's father.   On the way their car breaks down ... somewhere ... and they are stranded while awaiting repairs.

Corey pretty much reverts to her former life of party girl while Sam lurks around town as the misfit she is.   She connects with no one other than Corey except when she sleepwalks.   During her sleepwalking episodes she becomes, well, someone or something else.   As the local, equally misfit, soldier who has returned from Iraq, mentally damaged, she is referred to as a princess who is delivering a message to him.   On the other hand, local nerd takes a shine to her and makes his own advances.   While all this is happening Corey hooks up with town stud, with a killer car, who agrees to repair their beat up ride.   Even more bizarre, his younger brother went missing some time back and stud-boy assumes he is dead.  Now we have another little boy missing and all fingers are pointing to our deranged Iraq-damaged soldier.   Especially when his dog tags show up in the burnt out haul of the local church.

Frankly I think someone should look into Rev. Johnny myself, along with is deluded band of followers, but that is just me.  Overall I think our burnt-out soldier is a scapegoat for a darker evil brewing in this town.   However, as deranged as he is, he does manage to fashion quite a likeness of old Donnie's neminsis, the towering rabbit, with an outstanding welded piece for the head.

That old standby glutenous water substance reprises its appearance from the original movie, dragging its captures along behind its mesmerizing, pulsating, tail.   Samantha effects a similar voice the rabbit had in the original, along with the prediction for "the end", packing along a countdown with her story.  Of course, these tales are told only to our Iraq soldier and the small missing boy.

This film is full of windmills, strange town inhabitants, missing children, a love connection, Iraq soldier with a warped mind, completely eerie preacher man and his follower, Trudy, and all being moved around like chess pieces by Samantha in her dream states.

Samantha, even when confronted with the windmill that was destroyed by a falling meteor, didn't convey its similarity to the death of her brother.   Nor, when told the story by town stud of his younger brothers disappearance and expected demise, does she pass of information to him about the loss of her own brother. 

In the middle of all this turmoil, Samantha is killed in a freak auto accident ... or maybe not.   Maybe it was Corey that was killed:   Who the hell knows or even cares at this point.  Just make the movie end.

The actors:
Daveigh Chase returned as Samantha Darko.  At no time do we connect with her.  With brother Donnie we grew a strange relationship but Samantha leaves us cold.   She's a blank screen, the lights are on but no one is home.

Her sidekick, Corey, played by Briana Evigan, at least had some personality, even if it was atrocious at times.   She's definitely hotter, sexier, and more extroverted, so apparently opposites do attract.   The balance of the crew are rather limp noodles; Pastor John [Matthew Davis] should be investigate for his practices, and perhaps the missing children; his stalwart follower, Trudy [Elizabeth Berkley] should spend some time in a locked facility and, perhaps, be investigated about the missing children as well.  Our soldier, Iraq Jack [James Lafferty] bumbles about with his own theories about the impending doom and the local law enforcement, Officer O'Dell [Bret Roberts] says the one thing I've always wondered about too.  "How do you explain midgets or sock monkeys?"

DVD extras:
commentary from crew; Making Of feature; deleted scenes; trailers; and, God Forbid, a video song "Utah Too Much" that went well beyond redemption.

Overall impression:
Like the Little Engine That Could, S. Darko, et al, took to film like white on rice.  It just lacked a cohesive story, any idea of the remotest acting ability, and the ability to annoy me so badly I could barely wait for the credits to roll.




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April 09, 2011
I skipped this one, despite the fact that I liked the original. You just made me quite happy again that I did. Thanks, Susi!
April 09, 2011
I am to please and keep others from suffering :)
April 09, 2011
This is a perfect example of why young directors should read their contracts more carefully. I'm sure had Richard Kelly known that when he sold Fox the distribution rights that he was also signing away the rights to sequels, he wouldn't have done it. It's a shame that a sequel had to be made at all since "Donnie Darko" is such a well made and self-contained film.
April 09, 2011
it is a true shame. They even had the nerve to give Kelly credit for writing although he had nothing to do with the film. They went to no ends to capatilize on the previous, except produce a decent film. thanks
April 09, 2011
Yeah, I read Kelly's blog in which he basically said that he was hurt and felt betrayed by Fox for their making a sequel which he never intended nor desired to have made and that he wanted fans of the original to know that he was in no way involved with "S. Darko".
April 09, 2011
good for him!
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