This is the second part of my Howard the Duck review. To read about the first forty five minutes of this clusterfuck click here. We are picking up right where we left off - in the sex scene between Howard the Duck and his human friend Beverly.
00:45:55 - Beverly: “I can never find the right man.” Howard: “Maybe it's not a man that you should be looking for.” Beverly: “You think I might find happiness in the animal kingdom, ducky?” Is it really this easy to talk people into bestiality? I'm trying to think of a circumstance where I would have sex with a talking duck. Maybe if he kept me hostage for a few weeks and Stockholm Syndrome set in? But even that's pushing it.
047:02 – She's about to take her top off... but then she says she was just kidding. Which is convenient, because Tim Robbins – whose character is named Phil I guess – just arrived with an astrophysicist in tow. I'm guessing that if he had caught her boning Howard then at least one of them would have to die.
00:50:10 – The astrophysicist explains that he knows exactly why Howard is here, and then he says that the window to send Howard back to his home planet is closing. (We're getting closer to having a plot!) If Howard doesn't get home by tomorrow morning then he won't be able to go home. Now that he knows that his time on Earth is limited I bet he regrets those hours he wasted watching strangers fuck in broken hot tubs.
00:51:16 – Beverly packs Howard a to-go bag for his return trip and we clearly see her folding the Hot Tub Fever t-shirt he wore at work. Which reminds me: he said that he had to shop at the child's section of the good will for clothes because he is so much smaller than a normal human. Which means that Hot Tub Fever has branded t-shirts in children's sizes. This movie just can't stop being creepy.
00:52:30 – The two scientists and the happy couple all arrive at the lab whose experiments summoned Howard to Earth. They are barely in the front door before a man with bleeding eyes who pops up and yells “we had no right to tamper with the universe!” at them. This movie's worldview is apparently “science should never be allowed, duck fucking is always permissible.” Got it.
00:53:50 – Everyone in the lab seems to grasp that Howard needs to be returned to his home planet... but why? They were trying to pull some alien creature to Earth and they just discovered that they pulled it off. Wouldn't they want to study their new test subject for a minute? Don't they realize they could learn a lot by dissecting Howard? I know that these doofuses managed to break a cosmic barrier but they still seem like real bad scientists.
00:55:20 – Howard wears a lot of scarves. Where did he buy that many mini scarves? I don't think Goodwill has a scarf section. And where did he get camouflage pants in a kids size? And his money has duck people on it instead of presidents so who in the hell was accepting it in exchange for goods and services? Is Howard going to go to jail for counterfeiting?
00:57:22 – I really feel bad for Leah Thompson. She deserves better than this. Watching her waste her talent on this movie is like watching Michael Jordan having to play for the team that the Harlem Globetrotters always beat in their rigged games. (Super current references, Kirk.)
00:58:13 – We're over halfway through and we are just now meeting someone who might be a villain. Well, besides Howard the sex criminal.
00:58:51 – Dr. Jennings (the scientist who knows how Howard got to Earth) was in another industrial accident at this lab. Whoever has to update their "this many days since the last accident" sign is probably super bummed. He is now holding his head in pain. I know how he feels.
00:59:30 – Cop 1: “How am I going to explain a man hunt for a duck?” Cop 2: “Call it a duck hunt?” Oh man. I wish I was playing Duck Hunt right now. That was always the best NES game. I would give a million dollars to watch that smirky dog rip this duck a new butthole.
01:00:28 – Dr Jennings: “The Pain! It's like I'm transforming inside! I'm afraid I'm about to become something else!” Howard: “Oh great, like a sex change or something!” Yes, Howard, I'm sure that if an interdimensional being took over a human body the first thing it would want to do is to create another hole for you to rub up against.
01:00:57 – Jennings doing a monster voice: “It's too late, the end of the world is coming.” We're not even close to the end of this movie, you asshole, so don't taunt me.
01:02:09 – You want to know how much of an afterthought this movie's plot is? Jennings just announced that he was no longer Jennings, he was now “Someone Else.” They couldn't even be bothered to name the extradimenionsal being that was going to try to rule the world.
01:03:17 – Jennings, Beverly and Howard are now at a restaurant that looks like a diner but apparently serves sushi. I don't understand what this place is supposed to be... And all Howard wants to order at this restaurant is some beers. This duck has a drinking problem.
01:04:54 – Correction: Jennings dark side now has a name - he's “A Dark Overlord of the Universe." Apparently Jennings has been taken over by a creature that was summoned from a universe full of demons the same way Howard was summoned from a universe full of ducks. If these scientists try one more time they might be able to summon some sentient cotton candy from a Candyland universe, which would be cool. Once again: Beverly takes this with surprising aplomb.
01:06:32 – The waitress bugs all of them until they all give in an order "the special." 90 seconds later three meals of eggs, hashbrowns and bacon are all on the table, which seems super quick to me. Howard is repulsed by the eggs because he is, after all, a duck, so he yells at the waitress, because he is also an asshole. This brings attention to the table full of weirdos in the corner. Apparently all the other customers in this diners are rednecks because dudes in hunting clothes are now picking a fight with Howard. He fights back by turning it into a food fight. Then they decide to turn him into food by putting him on a chopping block and shoving celery in his mouth. I literally have no idea why any of this is happening.
01:11:05 – Beverly: “He's my favorite duck!” The Dark Overlord of the Universe: “You hardly know him.” You know, he might be evil, glowing with lightning and speaking in a creepy voice but he does have a point, Beverly - you do barely know him.
01:12:25 – The Dark Overlord just made a Nazi salute-ish gesture while he was trying to use his mind powers to kill innocent civilians and I still think he's a more likeable character than Howard.
01:16:16 – The Dark Overlord just told Beverly that he “needs your body” so he kidnaps her and traps Howard in the restaurant. This woman cannot catch a fucking break.
01:16:40 – Now the Dark Overlord is growing a tentacle tongue that he waves at Beverly's tits before plugging into the car's cigarette lighter. This movie is more fucked up than most of David Cronenberg's movies. AND IT'S PG.
01:17:31 – Tim Robbins is being arrested for the diner massacre (which I'm 99% sure he wasn't at.) He tells the police that he knows his rights and they have to give him his hat back. (I don't remember that being in the bill of rights.) Howard sees him being put in the cop car from Kiddieland, the playground area of the sushi restaurant that is full of gigantic fiberglass farm animals (sure, why not.) Howard rescues Phil, they walk away, night turns into day, and suddenly they are on an air field where they steal a two person flying device. I guess Cleveland's suburbs are just lousy with poorly protected airfields?
01:21:45 – Beverly is now hogtied in the back of Jennings trunk. I know it's tacky to blame the victim, but I do feel like it's kind of her fault she's in this situation. If she hadn't been so co-dependent with Howard she wouldn't be in a spot right now where she would have to be putting up with any Dark Lords; this can't be the first time her lack of psychopath-dar has gotten her in trouble. Also: she should count her lucky stars: the way this film was going it was by no means a guaranteed thing that when she woke up in that trunk all of her clothes would still be on.
01:24:45 – WILHELM SCREAM! (This time as Howard used his little aircraft to buzz some duck hunters and one of them was so surprised he dived in the lake.) (Hmm. Now I'm wondering if the hunter can swim. Hopefully if he starts to drown his fellow hunting buddies will do a better job of fishing him out of the water than those jacuzzi-fuckers did of pulling Howard out of the hot tub when he started drowning.)
01:26:15 – Damn, Jeffrey Jones is so good as the Dark Lord - He has enough scenery-chewing cheesiness to redeem every scene he's in. Too bad he isn't a character in half the movie. Also, the fact that he's a sex offender in real life keeps even the one good part of this movie from being enjoyable.
01:24:40 – Phil doesn't like flying with Howard, who keeps almost dropping him onto the ground. He starts yelling at the police to help him. “He's a duck terrorist! He hijacked the plane!” So if you were wondering if this supposedly comedic kid's movie was going to have a scene that feels weird post 9/11 the answer is: Yes, of course it is.
01:28:48 – Howard just flew his plane through a train. It's like something the Fast and the Furious movies would do if they had no budget, imagination, or ability to do cool stunts.
01:30:00 – The Dark Lord is about to destroy the Earth. Even though Howard has been a self-absorbed asshole this whole time, even though he has never had any beef with the Dark Lord, even though he isn't from Earth... Howard has suddenly decided to be a hero who saves the day. That doesn't make any sense, but if that's what it takes to end this fucking movie I won't argue against it.
01:30:58 – Howard is going to try to destroy the Dark Lord using a “neutron disintegrator”. You know, I bet every mid-size science lab in every mid-size city in Ohio has at least three of those.
01:31:14 – Beverly is taunting the Dark Lord, and all of a sudden we're in a classic B-movie with a mad scientist and a damsel in distress. You know, if it wasn't for the Howard the Duck the character than Howard the Duck the movie could have been watchable.
01:32:48 – Speaking of which, Howard asks “Whats this do?” while touching a random button on the disintegrator and immediately ruins the sneak attack they were planning on the Dark Lord. That has to be the boneheadiest mistake that a bonehead can make. This goddamned duck is the goddamned worst.
01:33:38 – Tim Robbins just told Howard to duck out of the way of something that was flying at his head and Howard's response was “and damned proud of it.” THIS PUN-MAKING DUCK IS THE GODDAMNEST WORST I TELL YOU
01:34:00 – George Lucas really loves old looking bad guys who shoot blue lightning out of his fingers, because thats something that he used here and in Return of the Jedi. I wonder if he ever thought about making a movie called “Howard the Ewok” and then thought better of it? (He probably didn't. If he'd had an idea that terrible he probably would have done it.)
01:35:33 – Howard is now aiming the disintegrator at the Dark Lord. I think this fight scene is only now passing the Hot Tub Orgy scene in duration.
01:36:19 – The disintegrator and the Dark Lord are now firing different colored lasers at each other. There's an explosion. I'm hoping Howard is dead. I am not in luck.
01:37:13 – Dr. Jennings announces that the Dark Lord isn't in him anymore. It's not dead, it's just loose somewhere in the science lab. Howard suggests that they run for it and leave it for someone else to fix. Well, he had a solid five minutes of not being a total dick.
01:38:30 – We finally get to see the Dark Lord directly and he looks like what would happen if a Rancor and the Sarlacc pit had a baby together. (The fact that I know both their names is... telling. I'm sorry for shit-talking you, George Lucas. You know I love you.)
01:38:50 – The Dark Lord is now threatening Howard, Phil and Beverly agree that they both have to help him. Help him... die? One can only hope, right?
01:39:30 – Ok, I get why the computer recognized the Dark Lord as Dr. Jennings when it was hiding in his body and using his fingerprints, but the Dark Lord's tongue tentacle just touched the machine and the computer still recognized it as belonging to “Dr. Jennings.” WTF? Did he have a four foot tongue this whole time?
01:40:00 - Also: the computer apparently knows what it's bringing to our world because it just said “Alien specimens arriving in three minutes.” This fucking computer sold us out! It's siding with the Dark Lords! Fuck you, HAL, I hope you die when Howard dies! (Howard is probably not going to die.)
01:41:51 – Howard just exploded the Dark Lord, and now he has to choose between blowing up the space laser (which is the only way to stop more Dark Lords from invading Earth) or ever going back to his homeworld and he has to choose right now. The movie is acting as if this is a hard choice, but the answer is obvious: kill two birds with one stone by sending Howard back to the Dark Lord's homeworld. He gets to leave Earth and I get to know that he's dead so everyone wins.
01:43:36 – Howard explodes the alien-importer. For a second it looks like the explosion killed him. Beverly is crying because she isn't sure if she can return to the Howard-less world she knew two days ago. Phil is making a face like “my fucking agent, man.” I respect Leah Thompson for being able to keep her disgust in check this whole time, but I kind of respect Tim Robbins more for being a pro and still getting one scene's worth of stink-eye in.
01:44:40 – Howard is not dead. And now we're back to the club where Beverly is singing the Howard the Duck Theme Song. There is no fucking way I am sitting through this bullshit.
01:45:50 - WAIT HOWARD JUST PLAYED THE GUITAR WITH HIS TEETH AS IF HE WAS JIMI HENDRIX... BUT I'M CALLING BULLSHIT ON THIS BECAUSE HE DOESN'T HAVE TEETH.
01:50:00 - Oh my God. I just did that to myself.
Well, this movie is basically two completely different movies. The first hour is a romance between a crass duck and a naive woman and who wants to see that? The second hour is basically an adventure story about an alien trying to stop a demon and that's actually pretty fun in spots. Unfortunately, the only connective tissue between those two movies is the Howard character, who is basically the worst. I can't really call this one of the worst movies of all time because I do enjoy all the Dark Lord parts, but it is definitely not a good movie.