I love reading about Darwin Award winners, the name given to people who die by committing such stupid acts that they have done a service to the human race by removing themselves from the gene pool. It’s the ultimate in schadenfreude, gaining pleasure from other’s misery. No matter how bad your day was you could at least go, I’m not as bad as these idiots.
I’ve stayed away from watching the movie all these years because I felt it would either be a compilation of bad accident clips or be so completely off the mark that I would hate it. Well I didn’t completely hate it but it was pretty mediocre.
The Darwin Awards stars Joseph Fiennes as Michael Burrows, a police profiler with an obsession with the Darwin Awards. Going through story after story trying to come up with a profile of what makes people do these sort of things.
After he loses his job he approaches an insurance company with a proposal that he can create a profile of these type people and save the company millions of dollars. He is given a stack of claims to investigate and four weeks to produce results. He is also paired with an established and jaded insurance investigator Siri Taylor (Winona Ryder) to travel cross-country with. He is also accompanied by a documentary filmmaker (Wilmer Valderrama) who had started filming Burrows when he worked for the police and insists on following the story through to the end.
Despite being a film about Darwin Award winners the bits they show about it don’t really come across as funny. I guess they are funnier in your head then actually seeing it. Besides I think it’s also from Burrows point of view as he analyzes and to some extent starts to identify and find sympathy with these people.
In the end, despite good casting and interesting cameos, this is a mediocre dark comedy wrapped around a failed attempt at a romantic comedy. If anything saves this movie it’s the shower scene, the only time I truly laughed out loud.