FEATURE FILM REVIEW
Old friends go on a hallucinogenic mushroom trip through the desert to face their fears, doubts, and failures.
WEED, MUSHROOMS, MOONSHINE, and best friends on a quest. A "Spirit" quest through the desert. Setting aside all the things you are probably expecting, including the fake coyote howls, I had a pretty good time watching this strange adventure from writers Brent Lydic and Tip Scarry. Growing up during a time when buddy adventures/comedies were as common as scarfing down a bunch of seasoned magical mushrooms, I realized that I'm probably hard-wired to enjoy this type of film. Does that matter to me at all? Not really. Spirit Quest hit many of the right bells, and if you grew up during the 80s or 90s, maybe even into the 00s, you'd appreciate this film more than you'll probably care to admit.
HE WANTS HIS FRIEND TO LOOK INTO HIMSELF AND DEAL WITH LIFE. WHAT BETTER PLACE TO DO THAT THAN IN THE SAND?
Best buds Brent (Brent Lydic) and Tip (Tip Scarry) agree to take a time out from the cruel, cruel world of responsibility and ex-girlfriends. The plan? A mushroom fuelled trip into the desert to sort things out. Tip believes the excursion is literally just an excuse to go party it up, but Brent is taking things a little more seriously. He wants his friend to look into himself and deal with life. What better place to do that than in the sand? As the two weed fiends progress onward to mushrooms, the already weird film gets even weirder. No joke.
I thought for sure I knew exactly what to expect from this film but slowly, I began to realize there was a lot more going on, and as the jokes started becoming less and less frequent, I was constantly in a state of observational flux. I laughed at the Stevie Wonder sequence and chuckled a little during the fake commercials but couldn't help but notice about halfway into act 2; I began looking at the progress bar on the video. Spirit Quest was shifting away from what was working so well - the comedy. I'm not saying the jokes stopped completely, but the tone of the film drastically was changing. I'm not writing that that was a bad thing, but I did feel like some of the roots were branching a little far. Like Tip himself, Spirit Quest felt like it was having a slight crisis of its own. An identity crisis.
EVEN THOUGH SOME OF THE PACINGS FELT A LITTLE UNEVEN, THE FILM ALWAYS MANAGED TO SNAP BACK.
Now don't get me wrong. This was a film that was enjoyable straight through to that last scene, and I loved the "action figure" wrapup; however, I did find it kind of dragged a little through the second half. I know that ninety minutes is pretty standard for a feature film, but I couldn't help but feel that Spirit Quest could have been done in seventy or seventy-five. But even though some of the pacings felt a little uneven, the film always managed to snap back. And why wouldn't it? There was so much to see here. From the main aspects of the film itself to the animations, music video-like sequences, and commercials - what's not to love?
THE REAL QUESTION THIS REVIEWER HAD TO ASK WAS WHETHER OR NOT I HAD FUN WATCHING THIS MOVIE. THE ANSWER WAS YES.
It's not perfect. Then again, whatever is, right? The real question this reviewer had to ask was whether or not I had fun watching the movie as a whole. The answer was yes. Yes, I did. Certain segments overstayed their welcome a bit like the "monks" section, and sometimes the film felt a little long-winded. So what. I can't count the number of hit movies that at times do the exact same thing. If you're going into this movie looking for the next hit from Marvel, you'll be disappointed. If you're simply wanting to kill a little time, Spirit Quest may be just what you need. Three out of five stars.
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