Struck By Lightning – Film Review
Well, Joffrey Lannister can step the fuck aside. I’ve found the worst human being in a movie or TV show ever.
It’s like Chris Colfer took everything that was wrong with Kurt, then recycled him into the screen-hogging main character of a movie that is essentially just an ego stroking revenge fantasy.
Seriously, this movie is a fucking atrocity.
TL;DR Literally every aspect of Struck By Lightning is suffocated by the bloated mass of Carson, who is just Kurt 2.0, but they mixed out the gay suffrage and replaced it with self-righteous intellectual elitism. The snobbery and martyrdom levels remain unchanged. A decent effort from an abused supporting cast keeps it above 1 star. Just. 2 out of 5 stars.
I always hoped that Ryan Murphy was to blame for Kurt’s shortcomings. Maybe he’s not doing it all alone.
The plot starts off with the sudden death (by lightning. As per the title) of Kurt (yes, his name is Carson. But he’s pretty much just Kurt, so imma call him that, k?). The movie is told in flashback with narration from the dead dickhead. He lives in an uninspiring small town somewhere. He feels unappreciated, so acts like a jerk to everyone, including his mother (a fantastic Alison Janney. Which is par for her) and supposed best friend (Rebel Wilson, doing probably her worst attempt at an American accent yet). He dreams of becoming a journalist and needs to start a literary magazine to get entry into his desired college, so he mercilessly blackmails a bunch of influential students into participating. It goes badly, which is apparently a surprise to Kurt. Then he dies. Subplots include Kurt’s dad (Dermot Mulroney) being engaged to some new chick (Christina Hendricks); Christina and Alison’s conflict; Alison’s alcoholism; and Kurt’s grandma being senile in order to force some emotion into the story.
So if you hadn’t guessed yet (go back and look real hard. You’ll see it), the major problem with Struck By Lightning is its main character. He is genuinely the most unlikeable character I’ve encountered in a long time. Worse, I don’t think he was supposed to be.
About halfway through this mess, I knew there was 1 of 2 ways that the plot could go: 1) Kurt’s bullshit would come swinging back around to bludgeon his dick in and we’d get a decent deconstruction. Or, 2) the movie would completely validate his absolute cuntery “because those kids who were meanies to me in high school are getting served trollolol I’m in Glee!” -Chris Colfer.
It takes the path of option 2. Obv.
And even more insulting is that Struck By Lightning doesn’t even have the balls to follow through with it. While Kurt (and the movie) never acknowledges his wrongdoing, the “yeah, but he dies” thing seems to be there to appease people like me. That’s just weak. If you’re going to be this pathetic, just do it. You’re only embarrassing yourself by trying to backpedal.
And if you cared about what assholes like me had to say, you wouldn’t have made such an abomination of a main character in the first place.
Why I hate this movie:
Not one for subtlety, either, Kurt has numerous didactic rants about topics that are super out of place. And make him look fucking insane. For example, he makes it very clear very early on that he’s above all the high school politics and how school is stupid and isn’t fun and we’ve fucking heard all this before. The unoriginality: it hurts.
In a “look how smart and superior I am because I question authority” montage, he has a big bag out on creationism and how he’s so enlightened because he believes in evolution. Omg Kurtz babeeeey, you’re sooooooooooo special and, like, smart and stuffz. Go back to r/atheism.
Rebel comes to him at one point bemoaning her lack of imagination. He tells her about how wonderful his is, but tries to play it off as advice. Backdoor bragging belongs to Jenna Maroney, you poser. Fuck off.
He poo poos all the student council homecoming theme ideas. When they agree to his suggestion to do TV couples, he is mortified when the stupid fundie dumb-dumbs want to include reality show couples. Because nothing says “smart, special and knows it” more than decrying Jersey Shore as brainless, valueless trash. So intelligent.
He has a huge, bizarre rant about society’s overreliance on prescription drugs. I thought this was a high school movie, not a soap box.
The rant with the most impressive irrelevance-to-overreaction ratio is the one about the new dress codes. The principal and school district want to restrict logos and writing on clothes. Kurt takes this as an attack against freedom itself. “IS THIS NOT ‘MURICA?” This stand gets all off-campus privileges revoked, including their prom venue. When the student council rightly bitch him out for it, he has a scream and shout about how he’s sticking up for them.
This is followed up by him calling them all clichés who haven’t tried to defy their pidgeon-holing. Scumbag Movie: pidgeon-holes supporting characters by only giving them enough screentime to be clichés, then has Mary Sue main character complain about them being clichés.
He only puts down one choice for college, and is crushed when it fucks up. Yeah, he got in initially and only lost out because Alison was a bitch, but come on. They’re called “backups” for a reason, you princess.
His hypocrisy is indulged again when he forces all the footballers and cheerleaders into submitting to the literary magazine. Umm, you’ve called them stupid the whole movie. Their submissions aren’t going to be any good. You fucking idiot.
And after he starts getting his own way (thanks, blackmail), he finds everyone’s compliance boring. Oh my god, just die. Oh good, you do.
There’s a weird moment where Sarah Hyland’s head cheerleader spits back at him that high school might be the last time she gets to enjoy life, as she is doomed to being a nobody townie. Kurt tells her she should follow her dreams to become a ballerina. So out of character.
The grandmother is only in the movie to try to make Kurt look a little better. It doesn’t help.
Oh, and to really solidify what an utter walking abortion of a character he is, Kurt satisfies himself by realising how much he accomplished when he applied himself. Through alienating and insulting everyone, ruining senior year, blackmail, and martyrdom. #hero
Reasons to watch:
Kurt really just hates everything. Sound familiar? Yeah, I found myself unfortunately identifying a lot with him. As a fellow obnoxious malcontent, I admire his commitment to being abundantly awful. I’ve gotta take allies where I find ’em, yo.
And Colfer himself, despite his character, is actually a pretty competent actor. I’ll give him that.
Alison Janney is the standout here. I could have sworn she really was a pill-popping alco. Her story is actually a lot more compelling than Kurt’s little teen angst whingeing. She’s a woman whose dreams didn’t come true and has had life step all over her. I cared far more about her.
And unlike her son, she’s not an entire waste of humanity. She offers some earnest advice to Christina to see her as a cautionary tale and to stay away from Dermot.
But Kurt’s gotta get his selfishness from somehwhere. She withholds his acceptance letter to college, which results in his losing his spot. Kurt’s reaction to this news is the only time in the movie where his indignation is reasonable.
Christina is fine in her small role. Seeing her reminded me of Drive, too, which is fine with me.
Sarah Hyland clearly has no problem being typecast as a mouthy bitch. Fortunately for us, she’s good at it.
The year book editor girl gets a moment of awesome when she flat out refuses to dedicate a page of the year book to the deceased Kurt. You go, girl.
She also snags best line of the movie during the homecoming theme argument. She says it to Kurt (duh): “I hate you more than I hate the Holocaust!” Totes.
Alison isn’t far behind: “You make me wish I’d had that abortion in the 90s.” If only.
Ken Marino (Vinnie from Veronica Mars. Hot) is a doctor. He is unscrupulous. Natch.
There is zero gay suffrage in this. Very impressive, considering they had the Rich Guy/Drama Guy closeted relationship thing in there. A rare moment of restraint.
It takes 3 days for anyone to find Kurt’s body.
Oh, and Kurt dies. So that’s cool.
I almost think maybe my reaction to Struck By Lightning could have been intentional: maybe it’s an ironic portrayal of a terrible person who thinks they’re doing the right thing. But honestly, that’s just wishful thinking. It’s clear to me that nobody just told Chris Colfer “umm, this is awful.” It’s a shame. This could have been really dark and cute. 2 out of 5 stars.