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MOVIES - Hits - Sundance 2014 - Review

I really wanted to like Hits. I could see how well it balanced social commentary with humor. It avoided being preachy while still being entertaining. It's a film all about what happens when people strive to be famous for the wrong reasons and through the wrong methods. However, in my opinion, I believe that the subject matter and message of David Cross's directorial debut came a few years too late.

Matt Walsh plays Dave, a municipal worker with an eternal bone to pick with his local government. After one rather heated city council meeting, a video of Dave's rant goes "viral", attracting the attention of the New York-based hipster community who believe Dave's rights are being repressed. The resulting three ring social media circus ropes in the rest of Dave's fame-obsessed family and community, culminating in another city council meeting no one would soon forget.

Hits was perfectly cast. Each main actor fit their role like a glove, bringing gestures and vocal inflections so natural to the type of characters they were playing. My favorite was Donovan, portrayed by James Adomian. Donovan is a cut-off wearing, waxed mustache-sporting gent from New York who came to Dave's small town in order to act as his personal hipster messiah. Unfortunately, while Donovan and the horde of hashtagging freedom fighters that follow in his footsteps are readily identifiable as "hipsters", that's about the sum of their characters. The audience simply received the same hipster-related jokes we've seen in the past from other movies and television shows. Yes, this portrayal is faithful and sharply accurate, but almost to a fault. There is no new observation made.

The B-plot line of Dave's daughter and the self-focused lengths she would go to in order for just a brush with fame (or infamy) took away from the impact of the main plot with the hipsters. More time should have been spent on cultivating exactly how the hipsters were ridiculous in their internet media crusade, not that it was just a thing that happened. I feel that perhaps these two plots would have worked better as separate films or companion pieces, allowing each film to be fleshed out more.

Hits is an excellent showcase of the narcissism run amok with every new social media app and movement. It's a film about a group more interested in the sound of their own voice rather than the message they were supposed to be spreading. And I believe it's a social observation and commentary that came a few years too late. With the so-called ''hipster lifestyle'' and attitude being lambasted virtually everywhere, what could have been a scathing humorous remark on the state of our social identity and our own sense of self importance, falls flat.

About the Author – Ashley B
Ashley is as serious as a sleeping curse when she says television is her life. Professional event planner, avid movie viewer, convention enthusiast, and resident sass master, Ashley writes reviews for ABC's Once Upon a Time, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, and Galavant, as well as Showtime’s Penny Dreadful. She looks forward each week to the weird and wonderful world her favorite television programs provide.
Recent Reviews by Ashley B (All Reviews)

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