In the pantheon of pointless sequels, from The Great Escape II: The Untold [And Untrue] Story to Highlander II (“There can only be one – more!”), this Richard Kellyless cash-in really takes the stinky biscuit.
But it’s not the gall of exploring the Donnie Darko universe without a qualified guide that grates so much as the vertiginous drop in quality between the two films. Where once there was Drew Barrymore cameoing, now we have Elizabeth Berkeley. Enough said.
As a self-important opening crawl informs us, it’s been seven years since her elder brother bit the big one, and Samantha Darko (original actress Daveigh Chase) is driving across the desert to California with best mate Briana Evigan (daughter of My Two Dads’ Greg) when they get caught up in some apocalyptic nonsense about falling stars and missing children.
While Donnie had the faintest tang of teenagers drinking too much coffee then staying up all night talking about God, S. Darko is shriekingly pretentious, with jobbing director Chris Fisher using slo-mo, fastmo and music-video symbolism to coat every inexplicable event with undeserved significance.
Even the extras rattle with uncertainty. “Honestly, why dramatically does there need to be another Donnie Darko?” asks screenwriter Nathan Atkins in the Making Of. He never offers an answer, because there isn’t one.
At the start, the annoying Samantha lies down on the baking highway. “I’m roadkill,” she squawks insufferably. So’s the movie.
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