Hits (2014)


Hits casts a decidedly unsympathetic light on the fickle and nihilistic nature of celebrity in the digital age.

Hits is the cynics comprehensive guide to 21st century fame. David Cross’ directorial debut follows the plight of Dave Stuben (Matt Walsh) – a simple man who wants justice from his local council. Dave is a regular at town meetings, complaining about everything from stop signs to potholes. His story gains traction with hipsters based in Brooklyn, who decide to make Dave the posterboy of their socialist cause. Dave accidentally becomes famous, meanwhile, his daughter, Katelyn, is trying to hit the big time as a singer any way possible. We follow the lives of the Stubens, both completely oblivious in their own way, as they traverse the public eye in the era of sextapes and hit singles.

I’m not really sure how I felt about the movie overall in terms of its quality. It was a little mish mash, a little unclean, but that’s David Cross. The first three quarters of the movie felt a little like a documentary or something, and it wasn’t that funny. I mean, I’m down to mock hipsters any day, especially ones who are convinced that their brand of white justice will “make a difference”. But after a while it felt a little self-indulgent and a little too exaggerated. That aspect of Hits kind of turned into a parody of real life. I’m going to talk a lot about David Cross’ misanthropy, because that comes in a lot, so be prepared. Cross’ hatred for all that encompasses fame really came through.  I don’t think David Cross hates social media. I think he hates how it is used and how it changes people. He hates narcissism and he hates (to be straightforward) idiots. And Hits is filled with a lot of them. I can almost hear him rattling off the hypothetical tale of Hits in one of his standup performances. God, he hates hateable people so much.

After all of that, the inevitable payoff was good. I was actually laughing for the last 15 minutes of the movie. We all knew what was going to happen from the start, but it didn’t stop the chaos from being beautiful. I mean, of course the idiot hipsters forget that Dave, first and foremost, is a hick from a small town who spends his time petitioning the local council. That doesn’t mean he isn’t a good dad and it doesn’t mean he isn’t right about the failing of local government, but he’s still an idiot. Actually, all of the people are idiots. Even the most switched on hipsters were totally incompetent.It’s just classic – the power of the people culminates to prop up a man who is not fit to be a leader. He’s not a hero and he never will be, just as the population of Brooklyn is as stupid as they are well meaning. 

And then there was Katelyn, who was probably the smartest idiot of them all. Sure, her fame probably won’t be sustained, and she isn’t talented at all, but she got there in the end. She got her Ellen interview. And her ending just drips of Cross’ sardonic sense of humour. That’s not to say that there weren’t some sweet moments. There were, and they warmed my heart and also made me want to bash my head in. This is how Cross views the world. A lot of us try to see the good in people but he doesn’t give a shit. David Cross is at a point in his life where he says, “Fuck it, I don’t care.” And he really doesn’t.

Hits (2014): 6.5/10



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