The only thing somewhat clever about “Don Peyote,” which opens in limited theaters on May 16, is the title – it being a satire of the classic novel, “Don Quixote.” Beyond that, there is absolutely nothing of interest in this movie.
“Don Peyote” tells the story of an unemployed, soon-to-be-married stoner named Warren (Dan Fogler), who comes across a man preaching about the end of the world. This entices Warren to do research on the Mayan Apocalypse and to create a documentary about the topic. And while this is going on, his clueless fiance plans their wedding.
The film becomes more of a collage of random things that seem like they would fit in a film. The problem is they don’t fit in this film. Hallucinogenic dreams plague the story, as do uninvited musical numbers and Fogler’s idea to interact with the audience.
And then there are random cameos by Anne Hathaway, Topher Grace, Jay Baruchel, and Josh Duhamel. None of their characters add anything to the story. These roles come across more like favors for Fogler, who also wrote and directed, rather than fleshed out characters.
Again, a lot of it just seems like pages and pages of notes were scanned through, and every one of them was put into some kind of script, and that script turned into this disaster.
To make matters worse, Fogler tries to shock the audience with some outrageous, borderline offensive humor. It takes a lot to offend someone like me, but there were times where even I cringed at the jokes. A blunt is lit, and our protagonist – all hyped up on conspiracy theories – sees it transform into the World Trade Center in flames. The second plane then comes in, crashes into the tower, and a Wilhelm Scream is heard.
I don’t see how taking a national tragedy and using it as stoner humor like that can be funny. Heck, I don’t see how anything that “Don Peyote” attempts can be found as funny. It’s just so random, and so many scenes are poorly inserted.
Everything about the film feels rushed, from the acting; to the story development; to the filming; to the editing; and every other department. Fogler’s a nice man with good ambition, and I wish him well with future projects. But “Don Peyote” is one of the absolute worst films of the year.