There are times in every movie lover’s life when one must suffer undue punishment. Earlier in this marathon I was forced to endure the travesty of art house cinema, known as Werckmeister Harmonies. Yet, through all my hatred of that film, I was still able to recognize some good qualities, mostly in the technical areas. In other words, there are some redeeming qualities to be found even in the worst films. Or so I thought. Enter: High Strung.
High Strung, directed (sic) by Roger Nygard and co-written and starring Steve Oedekerk, is a travesty from top to bottom. It’s a one joke movie, the one joke is terrible, the acting is insufferable, the filmmaking is about as objectively bad as you can get, and the parade of cameos only brings up the question “how did a pile of shit this huge manage to attract this kind of talent?” I will never know the answer to that question, and honestly, I don’t think any answer would satisfy me. High Strung is unavailable for purchase on DVD, and while I would normally consider that a bad thing, if it means that less people will accidentally watch it, I can only support this absence.
There isn’t really a story in High Strung. It basically works as a dramatized stand-up comedy routine devised by people who are either completely braindead or simply have no understanding of what constitutes comedy. I’d imagine it’s some sort of combination of the two. Though I enjoy the silliness of Kung Pow: Enter the Fist, High Strung is solid proof that Oedekerk should never ever be allowed to act. He plays his character as though he’s doing stand-up, but when your stand-up can be negatively compared in terms of obnoxiousness to Dane Cook, you know you have a problem.
The film is basically Oedekerk walking around his hour, complaining to the camera about everything that annoys him. The joke is that EVERYTHING annoys him, and worse, everything annoys him to a ridiculous degree. High Strung is the equivalent of watching an internet troll go off on a rant for 90 minutes. And not in a good way. Oedekerk may hate everything around him, but while watching him, all I could hope was for him to die a horrible death. Such annoyance is rare, but High Strung reaches those heights of irritation and then some.
Of course, all of this might work if any of the humour was carefully crafted into resembling jokes or gags. Nope. Not at all. It’s literally just one rant after another, all about things that people already complain about, and with absolutely no added insight that might have at least given the film a satirical edge.
The fact of the matter is, there is nothing redeeming about High Strung. If I could find away to wipe the film’s existence from history, I would. It deserves to be buried in the annals of film history, never to resurface. Actually, it doesn’t deserve to be called a film, because that would put it alongside such comparative masterpieces as Baby Geniuses and Epic Movie. I may have had to sit through the agony of it, but nobody else deserves to suffer such a fate as watching High Strung.