Posted September 19, 2014 by in


Total Score

3/ 5

Quick Stats

Genre: comedy
Director: Warren P. Sonoda
MPAA Rating: R
Actors: Mike Smith, Robb Wells, John Paul Tremblay
Length: 112 minutes
Release Date: 9/19/2014
Studio: Swearnet
What We Thought

The way they curse, the film’s gimmick, is rarely funny, but Swearnet still gets laughs from Jackass-esque stunts, pranks, and accidents.

by Daniel Hodgson
Full Article
Obscenities are the spice of language.  Some love spicy food, the spicier the better, while others can’t stand the stuff.  It’s all a matter of taste.  As with anything else, there comes a point where each must ask himself, how much is too much?
     Swearnet is about three out-of-work actors who want to say whatever they want on TV, and get paid for it.  They are Mike Smith, Robb Wells, John Paul Tremblay, the stars of Trailer Park Boys playing fictitious versions of themselves.  After negotiations with Canadian National Television (CNT) break down over standards and practices (the title of their new show is far from suitable), the boys need a new gig.  Their idea:  Swearnet, a subscription-based website where they put up clips of themselves swearing—a lot.
     Every other word in this movie is a curse word.  Mike, Rob, and John curse as casually as they do frequently, as if the words mean nothing.  Their profanity-based insults are often creative, yet are rarely the source of the film’s humor.
     Let me be clear:  It’s not that I was offended by Swearnet (although some will certainly find their language apalling).  It’s that after the 100th f-word, the word lost its meaning and effect.  That one f-word that PG-13 movies get to use has more impact because of its scarcity than all of the f-words in Swearnet combined.
     The way they curse, the film’s gimmick, is rarely funny.  Generally speaking, you don’t want to curse too much during the setup of a joke; you save it for the punchline, so it has some, well, some punch to it, otherwise, the word has lost meaning when it needs it the most.
     That’s not to say that Swearnet isn’t funny; it’s actually of the funnier films this year (albeit with feather-light competition).  Much of the humor comes from Jackass-esque stunts, pranks, and accidents, such as when Swearman (Patrick Roach), their website’s mascot, dangles upside-down from a pressbox at a hockey game naked from the waste down, with his genitalia bumping again and again into a CNT tv-camera.  It’s unexpected, embarrassing, and consequently very funny indeed.
     There’s also a funny bit where Swearman performs swearaoke; a variation on karaoke, in which the words of pop songs are replaced with curse words.  You’ve never heard Hit Me With Your Best Shot like this.  That’s one of the few times the profanity-based premise works.
     The story follows several plot threads:  how the boys try to get Swearnet successful; how Mike borrows money from a loan shark (Daniel Lillford) and his diminutive bodyguard (Dana Woods) in order to get Swearnet off the ground; and how John tries to get across the finish line in the East Coast Targa race with his father’s ashes in the front seat, stuffed into a racing-themed action figure.
     Scott ‘Carrot Top’ Thompson and Tom Green make humorous cameos in the movie.  Any movie in which Carrot Top gets punched in the face is worth the price of admission, or at least a matinee.  Hell, at the very least, it’s a decent rental.  Oh man, I meant to get through this whole thing without cursing.  Damn it.  Oh shit, did it again…fuck!

About the Author

Daniel Hodgson

Daniel has a degree in film from the University of Texas at Austin, and writes about himself in the third-person, because that's the fashion.


Be the first to comment!

Leave a Response