O@tNetflix: What Did Jack Do?

WhatDidJackDoPoster
Weird, yes. But is it also good?

Elusive short in which a detective is seated at a table interrogating a talking monkey and suspected murderer named Jack.

IMDb: 6.9

David Lynch. Alleged genius, artistic filmmaker … or pretentious hack with a very bad hit:miss ratio of 1:10,000? My personal judgment leans towards the latter but when so many, so much more expert movie goers and reviewers rate him so much higher, who tf am I to say his movies are shit?

Particularly since my rolemodel film critic, the super approachable, sharp-minded and well-versed Jay – of the Assholes Watching Movies blog – liked this Lynch shorty, I had to take at least a look at it. So hubs and me sat down and did exactly that. We watched WDJD, we paid attention and we watched it with intent. And we both kinda hated it or were like Meh! about this low budget joke.

Jack Cruz in What Did Jack Do? (2017)

But when asshole Jay likes it, why couldn’t we?

The story is quickly told and very simple: One interrogating detective (Lynch), one alleged killer, capuchin monkey, Jack, with a badly CGI’d human mouth and a robotic voice. The setting is supposed a to be a locked down train station’s café but was obviously shot in someone’s bedroom, garage or lounge. The budget was supposed to be around 10.000 U$ woolongs but looks not a cent more than 50. Lynch and Jack are the only acting “persons”, apart from a waitress bringing coffee. The rest of the world consists solely of PA messages and train noises.

Oh, did I mention, WDJD was shot in a ungloriously bleak black and white? So we have  a classic film noir setting but the screenplay isn’t as sophisticated or clever as that of most original movies of the time period in the 30s and 40s of the last century. Lynch ain’t no Bogey, and Jack is … well, just a rogue monkey.

David Lynch in What Did Jack Do? (2017)

If Jack was supposed to be a metaphor it went right over my pretty dum noggin. We saw a monkey making excuses and trying to avoid answering questions. And we saw the detective coming up with derailing questions and stupid figures of speech as well. So that was what made WDJD literally so elusive? Badly written dialogue that doesn’t get to the point is elusive by nature – not by artistic merit!

Short, the conversation turned in circles and we weren’t any wiser until, like, minute 16 of the 17 minutes runtime of WDJD. Jack unsuccesfully tries to escape, which is usually as good as a confession.

The End.

Sorry Jay, sorry movie illuminaries, WDJD looks like an interesting concept for an artschool project, not worthy of a “great artist”, a cultural icon like David Lynch. This could as well have been a practical joke. And sorry Netflix, you’ve been taken for a ride.

 

10 comments

    • Thank you Chris. You know, maybe I was too hard on David Lynch and this little (fun) film. Dunno. 😐 And that’s one thing you can’t take away from Lynch’s Ouevre: It’s always thoughtful and shows you exactly what he wants you to see. If we like it or not. So maybe I just missed some hidden meaning behind this little interrogation.

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  1. I enjoyed the acid-trip feel of it. The “convo” hit a point of so many cliches that I started to think they might all be from climactic, or famous, scenes from films. But then they went from incongruous single lines to multiple, connected, thoughts and that theory was blown. I tried to find more info online… some sort of analysis or logic, but found none.
    But it was no worse than 17 min of a lot of other crap so I’m okay with it. At least it’s caused convo!

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    • Yes, there was deffo some dreamlike quality to it, managed with the most simple techniques.
      And the cliché loaden interrogation was something Jay also mentioned in her review. It’s such an old stalwart of many crime movies, particularly film noir aera. I still have no idea why Lynch used that old cliché and the fukn munkee tho. :/
      All I know is that Lynch may be as intellectual as he fancies, as movies his work just don’t cut it. And I’m a movie audience, not a university psychology student.
      I much prefer a straightforward little Baby Yoda story over this pretentious crap every day.

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