“I wish my dick would just leave me alone.”
Enlightening, eh? Having seen thousands of movies in my lifetime, occasionally one comes along that surprises me.
“Bad Johnson” is not one of those films. I had an inkling how this would affect me when I squirmed through the smug trailer. Definitely positioning itself on the bottom rungs of the evolutionary ladder, here is a low-brow variation of those innumerable body swapping, and generally family-friendly, fantasy comedies (1988’s “Big” being the best), but with the current case offering up a personified body part. And that would be the penis of a hormones-a-ragin’ 28-year-old personal trainer, Rich Johnson (yeah, pun fully intended), a Chicagoan who can’t seem to keep his zipper closed whenever a pretty young thing ambles by and ogles at his hunkness. Taking Doris Dörrie’s 1988 talking penis film “Me and Him” one step further, the male sex organ extricates itself from its owner—a morally depressing individual when it comes to lasting relationships—and takes on the guise of a full-blown, oversexed Jerk.
Cam “Twilight” Gigandet pushes this film into its conceited abyss when he sacks the sister of his soon-to-be ex-girlfriend. Although he’s remorseful about the too-many relationships his dick has ruined, he can only confide about his “problem” with fellow trainer and friend Josh Nelson (Kevin Miller). A literal kick in the balls seemingly sidelines his problem, and it does allow him to start dating Jamie (Jamie “Sucker Punch” Chung, currently co-starring on NBC’s “Believe”) during a doctor-ordered 6-week sex-free recuperation. Alas, Jeff Tetreault’s overly contrived first-filmed-feature screenplay overplots the downfall of its hero. As soon as “Why are there teeth marks on your dick?” gets posited to the douchebag-a*****e-cheater, then the dialogue gets really absurdist, and that relationship takes a sharp turn south.
Imagine you’re a guy who can’t take a morning leak because his delivery system is offline. Personally I’m wondering if he’ll bloat up with a water retention disorder—it doesn’t but I won’t bore you with details. While he might not have to worry about a urinary tract infection, he does have to put up with comedian Nick Thune, who had a cameo in “Knocked Up” but has also been in numerous short films sporting titles like “How to Succeed with Women” and “Masturbation.” He’s Rich’s longhaired, bearded (not for long), naked and detached p****r, with an impeccable memory of all the sex in Rich’s past.
I will admit that the demented banter made me giggle. Once. But this is a one joke movie stretched to 87 minutes of masturbatory depression masquerading as double entendre humor (“Hey buddy, I’ve been playing with your dick all day!”) and occasional bad/sad Catholic schoolgirl and MILF scenes, courtesy of director Huck Botko (Is that a porn name?). The script lurches forward with too many wink-wink moments as Rich tries to make up with Jamie, who is getting plenty of sex from mindless idiots. Then Rich has to put up with the THC-addled, bad-advice-giving, car-stealing unnamed penis, a leech who plays it way too loose, particularly with poor Josh, who is really trying to stay true to his wife Emily (Jessica Joy).
Rich tries to become a better man by taking up pottery, wooing back Jamie with flowers, honestly friending and falling for one of his female customers (Katherine Cunningham) at the gym, and transferring funds from his p***y to savings account. Really? I guess if you put a snappy song on the soundtrack during the expected montage sequence (yup), some folks may applaud. Most won’t.
Boy Penis (no one would rightly call him a man) actually uses the moniker R.P., i.e. Rich’s Penis, to introduce himself, awkwardly and without belief, to Lindsay, the girl from the gym that Rich is partial toward. So if you want in on this ghastly joke, which gets plain bust-a-nut stupider during the last third of the film, you’ll have to survive jackass-turned-good-guy Rich doing battle with his conniving, trash-talking erectile dysfunction.
The whole effort seems like a crash course in throwing every bad cliché at the poor audience. Director Botko, a co-writer of 2013’s “The Last Exorcism” and involved with several dreadfully titled flicks (“The Virginity Hit,” “Broken Condom”), shows off a lameness all too predictable. If you watch the trailer you can spare yourself the film. Writer Tetreault did get one thing right: “My dick is an a*****e.” But then, being such an horrid example of a human penis, the bittersweet reunion, of sorts, ends up being more of a short-term medical than long-term mental solution.
Oh well. They got half the title right.