January 13, 2020  (Web Review)

The Fanatic

Quiver Films, 89 min., R, DVD: $14.99, Blu-ray: $17.99, Dec. 10

Reviewer rating: 1.0/4

Filmmaker and Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst’s ludicrous mad-fan story stars John Travolta (in a totally embarrassing performance) as Moose, an autistic movie buff who takes his favorite Hollywood action star Hunter Dunbar (Devon Sawa) prisoner in the latter’s own home after being stiffed by the actor on an autograph request. Moose is an implausible figure—an overgrown man-child who lives alone in a dingy basement apartment supposedly near the touristy streets of Hollywood, where he apparently ekes out a living as one of those costumed folk who amuse passersby—in his case adopting the persona of a London bobby (or perhaps a Keystone Kop). Otherwise, Moose spends most of his time being bullied by pickpockets and drug dealers, helped only by a paparazza (Ana Golja) who gives him Dunbar’s address, setting up a confrontation in which the actor is seen to be an insufferable jerk. Their tête-à-tête concludes with what is meant to be an ironic twist, but comes across as simply nasty. The Fanatic is not only an awful attempt to recreate the Misery template but also a cruel insult to the autistic. Not recommended. (F. Swietek)