April 5, 2014

The Other F Word

Andrea Blaugrund Nevins, 2011
This documentary provides a look at middle-aged punk rockers as they explore their own fatherhood, struggling with maintaining their rebellious personas while trying to be good parents.

The film presents the irony of watching an eff-authority punk-rocker hit middle age, but doesn't pack a whole lot of calories doing so and ends up serving you a mixed message. Unorganized. Confused. Lacking. Crude at times without substance. Are we watching middle-aged rebels struggle with inevitability or are we watching a Pennywise reunion tour? The doc is swerving all over the road all-while playing the songs we've grown to hate. Some scenes are just downright irritating. Everclear's Art Alexakis, who has managed to get more mileage out of three top 20 hits than anyone in the 1990s, sits in a room playing "Father of Mine" with an aged voice that isn't anywhere near the quality it was twenty years ago. His involvement in the film is also puzzling in a sense (not to take away from any of the trauma he actually has experienced) because he is not really known as the rebellious punk type.

But to cut the film some slack, there are some redeeming qualities. Jim Lindberg (of Pennywise) provides some honesty, some insight to the struggle of aging, displaying an urge to put his touring life behind him and dedicate his life to his family. He probably opens up more than the other subjects of the film. Flea also really shows some true vulnerability when he tears up gushing about his daughter. This is what you want from the film, a real unprotected side. But you just get too much filler and not a whole lot of consistency. If you come looking for laughs, you will at least get a couple of those. Seeing a 40 year old Rob Chaos stand in his kitchen unwilling to let go of his spiky hair. Mark Hoppus (Blink 182) talk about his reluctance to purchase censored music for his kids. But the F Word is disappointing because its an enticing premise that is just not explored properly. All the makings of a mediocre documentary.

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