By Ashley Cooper | March 4, 2004

Some movies are character driven, some plot driven, others meant as visual art, and then there are some that leave you scratching your head and wondering, “What the hell was that?” With “Quasar Hernandez” you could scratch yourself raw, and not in a good way. The movie begins innocently enough with an African American boy and a 30 something man playing in the park, swimming, and enjoying train rides. Or is this innocent? We’re not given any dialog or explanation of the relationship between the two characters, so it’s reasonable to wonder why they are important enough to draw our attention.

Then the filmmakers make it all clear to us. In a five minute uninterrupted speech we first learn that the 30 something man, Jim, is the boy’s big brother (as in Big Brother/ Little Brother). Jim goes on to tell the boy that this is the last day they’ll be able to hang out together. The reason? Jim killed his boss. Now, had the filmmakers gone somewhere from here then they might have had something. Instead, what follows is perhaps the most absurd and pointless plot twist imaginable. Jim explains to his little brother that after he killed his boss, that his boss came back as a mummy. And, of course, the mummy boss killed Jim and now Jim is a ghost. The upside, as Jim explains it, is that he now has time to go back and finish his degree.

What the hell this is all supposed to amount to is a complete mystery. My best guess is that it’s some sort of dark inside joke that bombed or an experiment in scene destruction. Perhaps it’s attempt to show a seemingly normal schizophrenic’s true illness. At any rate, “Quasar Hernandez”, though shot with technical skill and precision, fails to connect on all counts.

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