Sunday, November 11, 2012

Something is Killing Tate

Although putting down a movie as weirdly good-intentioned as "Something is Killing Tate" incites guilt in me, the truth must be told, so here goes. This film, an unholy mix of earnesty, melodrama, and blaxploitation cheesiness, comes up with a hodge-podge of issues -- suicide, rape, child abuse, alcoholism, adultery, and childhood disabilities -- dials them up to the extreme, and expects to be taken seriously.

   Tate (Jocko Sims) is dying inside... an unfortunate victim of childhood abuse by his father (Kevin Nichols, a cartoon caricature of larger-than-life proportions.) After a failed attempt to take his life, he is looked after by his fiance and friends. Tate's feeling of impending doom stops him from hopping into bed with his best friend's girl (Luz Beato, who sleazes and pouts her way through the movie, never once convincing us that she has a brain.)

    I go through depression, sometimes suicidal, on a regular basis, and although this film's portrayal of depression is okay, it's also pretty pat and often expressed in trite cliches, such as, "I don't feel anything anymore," and, "You deserve better."

   Renee (the fiancee) and Dottie, Tate's deaf sister, seem like the most true-to-life characters, but the dialogue and behavior of Tate's dad, Carlton, are ludicrous in their implausibility. I'm not saying the things Carlton does could and would not happen in the real world, but the way Nichols presents them makes Carlton a character who is difficult to take seriously.

    The only standout here is Joshua Curls as the young Tate, who shows a believability beyond his years. Otherwise, "Something is Killing Tate" is disposable, and only valuable for its message of non-violence.

1 comment:

  1. Nice review, Sarah! This looks like a film with a lot of potential -- it's too bad it didn't work for you.


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