This week I bit the bullet and queued up Bad Johnson on Netflix (blissfully, this film was free, although “no money” is still a touch pricey for this flick.) I’d been warned by Erik that this film was an exceptionally awful endeavor, and the glowing 1-out-of-5 stars it has been given online was not doing much to cut my anxiety going into this film. Despite the trepidation, I’m here to report that I survived the viewing, and have returned (not exactly triumphantly) to share with you the verdict: Bad Johnson is not so much bad as it is bland. Horribly, obsequiously, unoriginally bland.
Bad Johnson (2014)
Rich Johnson (ha, get it, his name is Dick Dick?! these guys are subversive geniuses!) is a lady killer who likes to blame his philandering ways on his un-tamable penis. After botching his latest relationship by tripping and falling into the nearest willing vagina, he wishes that his dick would take a hike. And it does. Now with a mind and body of it’s own, Rich’s Penis (get it, Dick Dick’s Dick?! Will they ever stop!) goes about ruining Rich’s life in new and uninventive ways, including trying to sabotage Rich’s latest attempt at finding love.
You can tell that the creative minds behind this piece of trash thought they were setting the world on fire with their outrageous material. Perhaps they’d never seen literally any other raunchy romantic comedy. That would have to be my working hypothesis, since the provocative content here is lukewarm by any standard imaginable. For a film about a life-wrecking penis, rampant misogyny and crass sexuality, this romp is fairly PG. Despite the leads constantly having sex, there’s only one instance of frontal nudity in the whole thing. They even fucked up putting titties in a movie all about acquiring access to titties. Porky’s had more shocking content in it, and that movie was about teenagers who had no clue how to go about getting laid. The absurd ease with which Rich and his Penis find cardboard cutout versions of sexpots who are not only interested in their grade-school level game, but actually consent to screw them is laughable. This film is only shocking in how anyone could write such an unreflective pre-teen wish fulfillment piece and not instantly press delete on their word processor.
Sex as Imagined by Virgins
With the exception of Cam Gigandet’s portrayal of Rich, the characters in this film are flat and lifeless. The timid best friend is a complete stock character who doesn’t get any decent lines or even act as the set up for any easy jokes. Nick Thune plays RP, the human penis, with all the charm of a middle school version of Ashton Kutcher. The female characters are stick figures with arrows pointing to their boobs and vaginas. Even the big love interest has had her agency (and self respect) lobotomized so that she can not only fall for the angst-ridden and newly sensitive Rich, but also simultaneously fall for the perma-virgin’s idea of a ladies’ man, RP.
Cam Gigandet is not horrible in this movie, which is hilariously high praise for this production. He kind of feels like a K-Mart version of Ryan Reynolds. As a sex maniac, he’s actually decently suave and convincing, and as a convert to the club of sensitive men, he’s likewise gives a decent performance. Unfortunately he is knee-capped by the script every time he gets any kind of momentum. He starts to grow on you, and then the writers put him into a montage of “girly” activities like yoga and pottery. Ha Ha. He’s such a pussy! Ugh.
Nothing to See Here
There’s nothing novel or interesting in this film. The alter-ego/personality split trope has been done before, to much better effect. The gross out humor is oddly juvenile and tame at the same time, like a kid who thinks “dick face” is the height of scandalous barbs. There’s no titillation factor in this film, and there certainly isn’t any incendiary taboo breaking. Everything here is just bland bland bland. I can think of a dozen raunchy romantic comedies that are light-years beyond Bad Johnson. Unfortunately, the director and writers couldn’t think of even one.