Sex, drugs and brain damage.
In 2010’s “Perfect Life”, Jesse Bradford plays Jack, a drug abuser, playboy and philosophy student wants nothing more on than to get into an illustrious fraternity called Veritas. His super rich friend Freddy (Scot Williams) supports him as he pledges and plays hard. During the pledge contest, Jack starts to have hallucinations to tragic events from his past.
The movie is extremely schizophrenic. It is shown out of sequence following about four different angles of Jack’s drug induced life.
One is Jack, Freddy and their childhood friend Anne (Sienna Guillory) growing up. The second is Jack’s aftermath from pledging. Third is the events during the pledge process. And finally the pledge events themselves.
Not only is the movie so disjointed but some scenes are even shot like you are on acid or something. Quick jolts, intense zooms and radical slices fill the landscape of the film.
I am not sure is director Josef Rusnak (The Thirteenth Floor) really wanted this kind of display. If he did, then there is just too much.
Bradford pushes aside his handsome teen image when playing Jack. This guy is a mess on so many levels that its hard to tell where to start.
When you use your own love juice to salt a chip dip, steal a decaying corpse or drive a car at 55 mph into a solid wall for kicks then its time to seek professional help.
A summary for Jack’s meaning for life comes from a line he tells Anne when he wakes up with a hangover:
Anne: Why do still keep doing drugs?
Jack: Drugs are how a man with no past faces a world with no future.
Sienna Guillory’s Anne really brings some much needed grounding to the film but she isn’t in the film as much as she should be. She keeps saying that Jack’s antics are scaring her but she never does anything proactive.
The central theme of the film is the twisted love triangle between Jack, Anne and Freddy. When it comes to a head, the movie becomes quite engrossing.
The movie feels very much like a Bret Easton Ellis film. Think “Less Than Zero” for today except without the charisma. But what is most surprising about the film is it is never predictable. It changes tones, tension, story and always surprises. And for a seasoned movie watcher like me that is amazing.
3.5 out of 5
So Says the Soothsayer