The film is about scientist Chris Cooper (Kevin McDonald) who comes up with a drug to 'cure' depression - Duoroflouriximinimum 602, later to be called "Gleemonex". It cures depression because, in Chris's words it "reaches into your brain "chemically," and then it locates your happiest memory "chemically," then it locks onto that emotion and freezes it "chemically," and then it keeps you happy, happy." At first, the drug appears to be wonderful, with absolutely no side effects. When the head of the pharmacutical company, Don Roritor (Mark McKinney) pushes Chris, our hero reluctantly says that the drug is ready before the lab does the appropriate testing. Unfortunately, the drug ends up locking people in their happiest memory "chemically" permanently - putting them into a comatose state. And along the way we have crazy cracked out characters, in true Kids in the Hall style.
On Same Guys, New Dresses, the Kids said their main failing with Brain Candy was not coming up with great characters for the performance side of things. I think I disagree. Yes, some of the characters were just purely derivative from their show, and yes, some of the characters were incredibly flat - but I wouldn't say that this was the greatest failing. Brain Candy had a lot of things wrong with it.
I think the main problem was pacing. There was far too much exposition in the beginning, too much about the glee of gleemonex and not nearly enough resolution. The shape of the plot would be like a bottle - dense at the beginning or bottom, small at the top or end. There was little driving force for a great portion of the film, where it seemed like all the Kids really wanted to do was create a montage of funny voices and hair pieces. That would be fine, I'd like that by itself, except that they also obviously wanted to tell a narrative and the two didn't quite gel together.
It's interesting that Dave isn't in the writing credits for the film. This doesn't completely exclude the possibility that he had writing creative input, but obviously he didn't contribute in this capacity to the very end. Of course, he was doing NewsRadio at the time (you even get to see his boyish NewsRadio hair - awww!) I do find myself wondering if he could have improved the situation any. Somehow, I doubt it.
I still liked Brain Candy. How could I not? It's the Kids! Okay, so chances are, I could have hated it. There are a few sketches in the show which I dislike, and a few overall episodes which I think generally suck. I really hated Chalet 2000, for instance. But, I still liked this. I did enjoy quite a few of the performances. Scott as the gay Danny Husk, er, Wally, was quite amusing. Mark was good in his various roles - actually, the other Kids did say that his performance was good when they were saying what was wrong with the film. I really did like his
The production of the film, for the most part, was extremely well done. There was some really beautiful camerawork that I enjoyed a lot. Kelly Makin did a great job of taking it all to the silver screen. It didn't feel or look like an extended episode of Kids in the Hall, it felt like a film with a tangible budget. I appreciated that. Some of the sets were fantastic, majestic and attractive to look at. The numerous establishing shots were very cool, if not a little excessive. Costuming and make-up could probably have been improved upon, but there was nothing wrong with them, they were fine.
The various commentaries the film was making were ones which I connected with, but I don't think they really made their mark when all was said and done. Really all I am feeling is the dissatisfaction that the boys feel themselves. It didn't work, they knew it didn't work and it's a shame. It wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been, but it wasn't nearly as good as it could have been either.
In typical Loz fashion, I have pictures.
Chris and Don's assistant, Marv. These two really have no concept of personal space.
Don and Marv.
Chris's scientist buddies.
The drug of choice - gleemonex.