By: Henry J. Fromage (Three Beers) –
Bad Johnson is about Rich Johnson (Cam Gigandet), a lothario whose inability to keep it in his pants is ruining his life. When he wishes his penis would just leave him alone, one morning he wakes up to find out it has.
More than that, Johnson’s Johnson has become a walking, talking human (Nick Thune) Id. Can he keep him under control, reattach him somehow, and maybe even find a way to become a better man who thinks before he dicks?
That, folks, is a premise. Bad Johnson has plenty of fun with it, and poor, poor Cam Gigandet sells it with aplomb, showing a better comic touch, more charisma, and a bit more dramatic heft than we’re used to from him.
Granted, he hasn’t given us much competition
It’s Nick Thune, though, that’s the breakout here. He’s basically Zach Cregger (Whitest Kids’U Know) and Justin Kirk’s (Weeds) bastard lovechild, and I mean that in the best way possible. He’s a force of hornball nature in this, and just grows more conniving and deliciously evil the longer he’s on his own. You know, just like your penis (or ladypenis?)
Katherine Cunningham shows up later as a witty love interest and her interplay with Gigandet (and his with Thune) is what really sells the film once all of the magical eunuch shenanigans (some hilarious, some not so much) play out.
What also surprised me is that this “Ow, I lost my dick and now he’s a goofy bearded man” movie has a little more going on under the hood than you’d expect. It plays with gender conventions in some interesting ways and even has some sly commentary on the sexist sexual entitlement that comes with packing your own metronome for some men.
As cool as Cunningham’s character is, unfortunately, when the plot calls for it she falls for Thune’s sleazy suaveness, ends up the damsel in distress, and finally chooses to be with the man she’s just learned has cheated on every single one his partners and yet thought a former girlfriend’s cheating justified it. Oh, and there was the whole “my dick is a sentient creature” angle…
Director Huck Botko puts a surprisingly nice visual stamp on things, but he’s lucky he got a cast with this much chemistry and comic chops, because the script he’s given to work with really does him no favors. There are some comic gems in it for sure, but there are also plenty of just plain dumb jokes, too, some of which are thankfully salvaged by the cast. The gay waiter, though, was so damn over the top that he circled back around and slammed face-first right into the bottom.
I’m happy to report that Bad Johnson is just as awesome as its trailer suggests. Grab yourself a cold one or three, double check your pants, and give it a watch!
Take a Drink: whenever any Johnson gets busy
Take a Drink: for beer and weed metaphors
Take a Drink: for penile stand-ins
Take a Drink: every time Rich’s dick is… a dick
Take a Drink: for every payphone call
Do a Shot: every time Rich’s dick shades towards pedophilia