I originally wrote about this film during my coverage of the 2011 SXSW Film Festival, so I figured I’d said my peace on the film, but shortly after the festival, the publicist for the film contacted me about the film’s upcoming Blu-ray release. I demurred at first; I mean, I saw the film, dug it, what more could I really have to say about the movie to justify another review. Simply, if the Blu-ray didn’t have something new (extras, commentary, something), then I was going to pass.
As you can see, I didn’t pass. The Blu-ray comes complete with more hilarious footage in their “Deleted Scenes” special features (particularly the “Christmas in the Abyss” clip), but really excels with the commentary track by the characters Terry (David Lawrence) and Dean (Paul Spence). It’s like getting a third Fubar film via audio.
In fact, the commentary, for me, is worth the time it’ll take to check out the Blu-ray, because Lawrence and Spence are incredible at keeping in character, and even manage to expand on the footage you’re watching with even more random information. Since the film plays like a documentary, it adds an extra layer of insanity to have the fake characters being documented then talk about themselves as they watch the film.
And to be completist, here are my thoughts on the movie, as expressed during SXSW:
Even though Fubar: Balls to the Wall is a sequel, you don’t need to have seen the original to enjoy the second. While some things play a bit funnier (including a recurring health issue for Dean), everything is explained and addressed so you’re never lost. SXSW showed the original the next day as a special screening anyway, so if you really felt lost, you could at least see it then. Personally, I found both films to have similar positives and negatives. Both are hilarious and start out strong, the joke starts to wear a little thin about three quarters of the way through and then there’s a moment or three of serious drama (well, as serious as Terry and Dean are capable of getting). In this film, Dean and Terry follow their friend Tron up to Fort McMurray to work as construction day laborers, spending their days being the worst workers Canada has ever seen and their nights getting drunk, stoned and hanging at the local Peelerz strip club, where Terry falls in love with a very large and abrasive waitress.
In describing the film to others, I’ve called it “brutally Canadian.” I’ve got a bunch of Canadian friends, and everything about this films feels so real, despite being so over-the-top insane. It’s what would happen if Spicoli fucked Bob and Doug Mackenzie, their offspring turned out to be Wayne and Garth, who then fucked each other, resulting in braindead-and-inbred offspring named Terry and Dean. And, for the record, the opening party sequence of this film is brilliant in its insanity. It sets the bar so high, it’s hard for the film to ever get back there. Still, who cares if it’s awesome, right? The only depressing thought I had was that one day Dean might find himself smoking crack in his parents’ basement, a la Bobby Liebling.