Starring: Joseph Fiennes, Winona Ryder, Chris Penn, Juliette Lewis
Officer Micheal Burrows is a criminal profiler for the SFPD who has become quite obsessed with the Darwin Awards. He is highly intelligent, but quite eccentric as well, believing that there is a common theme with the Darwin cases. His sergeant selects him to take part in a documentary believing it would be good PR for the department. Unfortunately he loses his job with the department after allowing a suspect to get away.
Burrows speaks to an Insurance Executive at the Fidelity Insurance Company and explains his theory about the cases. He feels as though he could save the company large quantities of money by proving that the customers are at fault. The executive decides to give him a shot along with the promise of a job at Fidelity. He pairs Burrows up with the in your face Claims Investigator, Siri Taylor who is truly a force to be reckoned with.
They travel to several states investigating outrageous claims filed by individuals; accessing whether or not they are liable. It seems as if the the previous story always pales in comparison to the next one. Burrows finds himself a Darwin candidate time and time again while Siri wonders if his theories aren’t something that he has concocted just to land a job with her company.
I first learned of the Darwin Awards when a co-worker sent me an email about Lawn chair Larry. Larry Walters of Los Angles always had the dream of flying. One day he made it a reality by strapping forty-five weather balloons to a lawn chair. Fortunately he did not become a Darwin winner, but he did receive an honorable mention along with a nice pair of handcuffs. Many of the stories are so far fetched that you couldn’t believe them if you really wanted to. Others are pending award winners while an investigation of their authenticity is being confirmed.
I was surprised to see that this movie was packed with several known actors/actresses. Although it’s not my number one pick it was interesting in a dark, twisted sort of way. There is no way that I would ever find an individuals death amusing, but the stories leave you wondering ” what the heck” some of them were thinking. It is one thing to read some of the over the top stories on the site, but a totally different thing to see them reenacted in a movie. The director would love for us to believe the romantic chemistry between Fiennes and Ryder. The sad part is the average viewer would not believe their romance for one minute, along with some of the performances. If you decide to watch this movie don’t expect the experience to end with total satisfaction. As long as you decide to watch it without high expectations there is no way for you to be utterly disappointed.