Choke I'm a sucker for dramas of addiction, and I know I'm not alone. We're all hooked on something , even if it's just french fries… Choke I'm a sucker for dramas of addiction, and I know I'm not alone. We're all hooked on something , even if it's just french fries… 2008-09-26 R PT92M Comedy Drama Anjelica Huston Sam Rockwell Brad William Henke Kelly Macdonald Fox Searchlight Pictures
Movie Review

Choke (2008)

MPAA Rating: R
Choke | BUS BOYS Brad William Henke and Sam Rockwell in the onscreen adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk's Choke
BUS BOYS Brad William Henke and Sam Rockwell in the onscreen adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk's Choke
EW's GRADE
B+

Details Limited Release: Sep 26, 2008; Rated: R; Length: 92 Minutes; Genres: Comedy, Drama; With: Anjelica Huston and Sam Rockwell; Distributor: Fox Searchlight Pictures

I'm a sucker for dramas of addiction, and I know I'm not alone. We're all hooked on something, even if it's just french fries or Sudoku; the tug of addiction — of using x to fill that hole inside — is what our entire consumer culture is built on. Choke, based on a Chuck Palahniuk novel, is a dirty-minded satirical-psychotic comedy of sex obsession (and other yummy derangements). It comes at you in quick, rude snippets, popping you into the fantasies of its hero, Victor, a boyishly sleazy player who goes to Sex Addicts Anonymous meetings mostly so that he can pick up the tramp-of-the-week.

As Victor, Sam Rockwell is scurrilous yet moonstruck, with a dazed reptilian stare; he's like a Jimmy Fallon who's forgotten how to crack himself up. He makes Victor the most cuddly of lotharios, with a screw invisibly loose. When Victor visits his mom in a mental hospital (where he pretends to flirt with the randy old ladies), we see what untightened the screw: His erotic compulsions all trace back to this clinging, deluded, withholding mother, played by Anjelica Huston with a touch of Livia Soprano's mad grandeur. Choke has a stylized synthetic zaniness, but far more than Fight Club (the film or Palahniuk’s book), it builds its motifs into an amusing neurotic playground. Victor may be a slime, with no pretense of wanting women for anything but a quick shag (his staged ''attack'' on an Internet pickup who fetishizes being raped is a delirious piece of sexual theater). Yet Choke shows us what it really feels like to be that way. It’s an indelibly warped cartoon of lust and despair. B+

Originally posted Sep 24, 2008 Published in issue #1014 Oct 03, 2008 Order article reprints