Swearnet Review

Sometimes in order to convey how properly agonizing a certain experience was, sinking to the level of a terrible, patently unwatchable movie is sadly unavoidable. To put it in terms the makers of Swearnet would understand, their movie sucks pus filled cocks. The latest film from the stars of the Trailer Park Boys franchise is a meta movie mess with nary a laugh or a chuckle in sight, often forgetting that watching people swearing for the sake of swearing or randomly showing tits and dicks isn’t something that’s funny if there isn’t a joke attached to it. It can’t even be bothered to figure out what it wants to do. As an inside baseball styled satire of the Canadian television industry, it’s worse than its most immediate counterpart, Burn Hollywood Burn, one of the worst films ever made. Then for no reason other than laziness it becomes a movie about a road race and becomes the worst racing film since Speed Zone, also one of the worst movies ever made. The fact that Swearnet manages to best not one, but two of the worst films ever made would be admirable if it at least had a shred of something worth celebrating.

Fed up that they can’t seem to break away from their more famous alter egos and get a television series made on their own terms, Robb Wells, Mike Smith, and John Paul Tremblay decide to start their own halfassed web channel called, Swearnet, which as Smith puts it will feature real people talkin’ fuckin’ real. What that means is that the now incredibly fucked up, lecherous, and underhanded Smith is going to borrow money from a pair of bizarre loan sharks (Daniel Lillford and Dana Woods) so they can buy a bunch of gear, hang out in a garage, and simply read the news while inserting a bunch of pointless, and really forced cursing. Finding out that they need to pay up as soon as possible or lose their quality of life forever, Wells and Tremblay get sponsorship in a Nova Scotia rally race that Smith wants to sabotagefor website hits while Tremblay wants to use the occasion to spend one final day with his dead father’s ashes.

There’s a decided bitterness to Swearnet that could have been channeled into something at least potentially interesting on a thematic level, but director Warren P. Sonoda (Servitude, Coopers’ Camera) is clueless of how to reign his cast in. There’s nothing he can do with a project so openly fuelled by the rampant ego of its stars. Wells seems to at least be giving an effort to be somewhat likable even though nothing he says ever amounts to much and all I can remember about his character is that his wife is an asshole and he’s trying to make money selling half length cigarettes. Tremblay gets the shortest end of the stick, and that might be for the best since he’s the weakest of the trio and everything that doesn’t deal with his dead dad (including his inexplicable mail order bodybuilder wife) adds nothing. Smith goes so far over the top that he’s out in space somewhere, almost looking down upon the material with a certain degree of latent disdain. And the less said about collaborator Patrick Roach, also playing himself as the crew’s drunken, shouting mascot, the better. It’s one of the most annoying characters in film history, and one that can only scream at the top of its lungs or whip its dick out for hopes at any laughs.

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There are two enormous problems that make Swearnet an ungodly chore to sit through. The first is that on a very basic level, the boys have forgotten that comedy is all about timing. Being naughty for the sake of being naughty doesn’t even make teenagers laugh. It’s so base that teens would see this as pointless posturing. Similarly, I can’t imagine that the boys’ core audience of stoners would even find this all that funny when there are so many better films to watch when you’re ripped out of your skull. I think this film has the potential to kill more highs than it does aiding them. Just saying some naughty words or pressing a dick against a camera lens or repeatedly making reference to cumming on sloppy tits several times in the first six minutes alone does nothing. It’s hollow and pointless. The film also finds a way to botch an acid trip sequence by not staging it like an acid trip and instead just slops up eight more minutes of the guys just fucking around. In this sequence they also make what might be the deadest cannibalism joke ever committed to film. Nothing works on a comedic level here.

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Actually, one thing works. God bless Tom Green for showing up in this pile of shit. He’s genuinely funny and for the first five minutes all he does is tell people he’s giving away free keychains. This is a talented man who seems to know that he’s in a shitty movie. His cameo as a celebrity participant that has been paired with fellow comic Carrot Top (who’s probably the second best thing in the film, but still not that great) for the climactic road race feels like a case of someone reading the script, throwing it out the window, and then just coming up with their own, better material on the spot. The high point of the film – the ONLY high point of the film – comes when Green openly compares Smith’s direction of his shitty show to his own work on the more nuanced Freddy Got Fingered and god damned if he isn’t spot on.

The other major problem is that there isn’t a single moment where Swearnet doesn’t feel like an endlessly reshot and tinkered with salvage operation. Swearnet is a real subscription based website run by the guys involved with the film, and it was supposed to be the next big thing for them once Trailer Park Boys ended and after the better and underappreciated Drunk and on Drugs Happy Funtime Hour never took off. Half of the film plays like a commercial for the site, with Smith dreadfully plugging the shit out of it like a deranged Flavor Flav every ten minutes. The rest of it, especially an obviously reshot prologue and credits stinger, plays like a shrug that announces the return of the Trailer Park Boys to Netflix in two weeks time and admission of Swearnet’s complete and total failure to set the comedy world on fire. It reeks of bad money that has been put down to chase bad money, made worse by the rampantly embarrassing product placement here from Coors/Molson and the Toronto Sun of all fucking things. Who knew the Toronto Sun was so huge in Halifax? It does more to damage The Sun’s credibility as a news outlet across 112 unconscionably and inexcusably long minutes than their TV network has done across several years.

By the time the film gets around to having Smith jerk off a one eyed man as a show of solidarity and friendship and the ripped off Talladega Nights ending, I had long stopped caring about anything that happened in Swearnet. It’s not a movie. It’s not even a loose bunch of sketches without a point. It’s noise, ceaseless annoying buzzing for nothing in particular that never should have seen the light of day. The fact that anyone involved with this could say it was a good idea with a straight face is lying to themselves. It’s choppy, inconsistent in its own shittiness, and obviously retooled into oblivion. If this was the best idea the boys had after leaving their successful show, maybe they should have quit while they’re ahead. Then again, the show comes back soon so what’s the point of any of this, really?

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