S. DARKO is everything every DONNIE DARKO fan ever feared since the film was announced. I wanted to be the one person to give it an honest shot in order to turn everyone else on to the flick, but it just isn't any good. It lacks any voice or individuality that separates it from the original, instead recycling the same basic structure minus any of the mystery, dark humor, or intelligence of the first film. Donnie's sister Samantha is stranded in a Midwestern town while on a road trip with her friend, when the two become entangled in a time-bending tale where they must help free the spirit of a young boy that was lost years earlier. Newcomers to the series would be completely lost without understanding the mythology of the original film, while returning fans will be irritated by the shallow characters and derivative plotline. Fisher does achieve much of the same visual stylism, but when following a cult hit like DONNIE DARKO, the only way to make a successful sequel would be to create an entirely unique and separate universe with its own look and feel. Each of the similarities only serve to draw comparisons between the two films, which is entirely unfair to this second entry, but at the same time nothing was done to avoid it. I hate reducing the review to these comparisons, since it then becomes the rant of any other fan boy, but it is impossible to neglect these details when addressing the film to other fans. As a stand alone effort, it offers decent acting, average filming, but dry and unresponsive characters, making it a below average release that can be overlooked. To the S. DARKO team, it looks like you made an honest effort to make the film interesting, but the plot and framework you were working with just didn't serve to drive any significant point home.
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