Saturday, July 5, 2014

Should Have Been Titled "The Grift"

The Griff
Written by Christopher Moore and Ian Corson
Illustrated by Jennyson Rosero
Published by HarperCollins Publishers
1 Out of 5 Stars

Hey, Michael Bay, I found your next movie concept! And you can't screw this one up because it comes pre-fucked. Inexplicable, ridiculous threat to humanity? Check. Shallow characters? Check. Nonsensical plot with holes big enough to drive Optimus Prime through? Check. Cliche action dialogue? Check. Females who offer little more than T & A? Check and check. 

Now, where do I go to pick up my finder's fee?

I love Christopher Moore's novels. His zany sense of humor, hilarious dialogue, and obvious compassion for his fellow man is a combination that I find irresistible. But, hole-e fucksocks, The Griff is no Christopher Moore novel and, to be fair, that's established up front in Moore's preface (which also happens to be the best part of the book). Essentially, Moore came up with this idea that he thought would work well as a movie, he and a buddy (Ian Corson) wrote the script as a way of avoiding real work, and then tossed it in a drawer because they knew it would never be picked up as a film. Then the comics came calling and Moore remembered The Griff screenplay and brought it back into the light as a graphic novel.

And he should have left it in the dark. While I have no doubt that Moore and Corson had a hoot writing it, it's a hot mess. There's no sense of time (entire weeks pass with no clear signal to the reader, making it seem as though everything happens in the course of a day); the artwork is pretty, but inconsistent and the panels are often confusing (one gets the sense that there were lots of blanks in the plot that they decided to quickly "flesh out" with artwork that has no real sense of narrative direction); and it follows the standard summer action flick formula so faithfully that it offers nothing new. It reads like a screenplay with pictures and has a rushed "Wham, Bam, No-Thank You, M'am" feel to it." 

A plot this ridiculous (giant alien dragons show up out of nowhere and wipe out most of mankind) could have been fun if it had been more of a spoof or featured more of Moore's signature humor. There are a few bits of dialogue that are pure Moore and, while hilarious, still not worth the price of admission.

My advice? Read Moore's FoolA Dirty Job, or Fluke and give The Griff a pass. 

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