Review of “Hesher”

This was a must see movie for me this summer. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is an incredible actor with great screen presence and an s-load of charisma. From “3rd Rock from the Sun” to “Inception” and everything in between, Joseph Gordon-Levitt has the ability to play a nice diverse range of characters. A noir-ish high school detective from “Brick”, manic-depressive solider from “Stop-Loss”, just another victim in “Halloween H2O”, and so on and so on. So I was looking forward to “Hesher” for Joseph Gordon’s performance, if nothing else.

A tragic accident leaves a family in shambles. All hope is lost until one day when Hesher enters their lives and begins to shake things up.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt owns this movie. He’s hilarious as the destructive, raunchy, skinny James Hetfield-looking loner. He’s always telling these perverse metaphors that usually seem to help the ones he’s talking to. I especially love the scenes where Hesher and the young boy T.J. (Devin Brochu) interact. The scene where they are both in a grocery store is great. Gordon was definitely the highlight of the film. So much in fact that when he wasn’t on screen, the movie seemed to lose it’s magic. All the actors did well with fine performance by Rainn Wilson (who’s tearing up the Indie seen this year) and Natalie Portman, who I felt could have used a slightly bigger role.

Logic didn’t play much of a part in this film. I know it’s a movie, but still. One has to wonder why Rainn Wilson never questions why his twelve year old son is hanging out with this late twenties/early thirty-something stranger or more importantly: why he’s now living with them! There’s a scene where the police are questioning T.J. about a crime, yet they seem to totally ignore the long haired, shady looking Hesher. The movie also has a sappy ending. Not just a sappy ending, but an Indie sappy ending.

After watching this, I’ve decided that Hesher the character is better that “Hesher” the movie. I do recommend this movie, but really for Joe Gordon-Levitt.

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