Review: CUCK Is A Fascinating Look At A Dark Subculture

FIRST IMPRESSION

Cuck has some problematic elements, but thanks to a strong performance from Zachary Ray Sherman, this film's interesting ideas are explored in an interesting way.
Writing
Directing
Acting
Technical Merit

Cuck, co-written and directed by first-timer Rob Lambert, is a dark look in a subculture that is becoming more and more worrisome every day. Although the film’s attempts at satire aren’t always as effective as they should be, this is nonetheless a surprisingly harrowing tale about how a person can become radicalized.

The movie follows an isolated loner who quickly gains popularity as an alt-right vlogger, causing him to become more and more radical. This is one of those slow-burn thrillers that isn’t particularly exciting in the beginning, but gets crazier and crazier as it goes on. Yet even though this tonal shift helps make the film more interesting, it also contributes to an identity crisis.

Since there is so much happening in the movie, it almost feels like Lambert can’t decide exactly what he wanted the film to be. Part of the movie is a portrait of a man’s descent into a dark hole, but another part of the film is a psychosexual thriller. Even though these two storylines do ultimately tie together, it takes too long for the movie to get there, and as such, there are portions in which one may be wondering exactly why they are watching what they are watching.

Perhaps the main reason why this film is so challenging is its character development. The protagonist, while not idealized, is shown in a way that is complex. Even though his actions and ideas are not presented in a way that is sympathetic or agreeable, the movie also blames the system for radicalizing him.

cuck ronnie

Ultimately, the film’s message seems to be that people like this need significant help, and the online culture surrounding this type of radical ideology is a breeding ground for toxicity. Although Ronnie claims to be an “okay” guy multiple times throughout the movie, it is obvious that Lambert doesn’t want the audience to feel the same way about the character. Rather, he is a person that sought help in the wrong place, sending him much deeper into the dark abyss.

Lead actor Zachary Ray Sherman gives a complex performance as the protagonist. It is often difficult for actors to pull off characters like Ronnie because it is hard to strike that balance between making the character feel dislikable but not like a caricature. By highlighting the humanity of the character, Sherman is able to portray him in a way that is interesting and unique.

On a technical level, Lambert’s film is somewhat problematic, but that can be expected given that he is a first-time director. One of the biggest issues with the visuals is that the whole thing looks and feels grey. To a certain extent, this does make sense given the moody feeling that dominates the film, but the movie also feels mostly unpleasant as a result.

Like another controversial film that came out last weekend, Cuck has the potential to be problematic if seen by the wrong people. However, unlike that movie’s director, Lambert actually tries to do something interesting and unique, and sometimes ends up succeeding.

Cuck is now in theaters and on VOD.

TRENDING THIS WEEK

HBO Replay: Boar on the Floor | Succession

When Logan Roy suspects a traitor in his midst, there’s only one way to smoke them out: utter humiliation. And for anyone caught in the crossfires — well, that’s their problem. #HBOReplays brings you the must-rewatch scenes from your favorite shows, specials, and more. #HBO #SuccessionHBO #LoganRoy #BrianCox Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: https://goo.gl/wtFYd7 Succession…

The Best of Riverdale Awards | Netflix

Riverdale may be based in the Archie Comics universe, but there's plenty of craziness going on we don't remember seeing in the original issues. We honor some of Jughead, Betty, Veronica and friends' best and wildest moments in this episode of "Oddly Specific Awards." Watch Riverdale, only on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/in/title/80133311 SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/29qBUt7 About Netflix: Netflix…

Coroner | Season 1 Episode 1 | Bunny Promo | The CW

Stream new episodes of Coroner Thursdays free only on The CW: https://go.cwtv.com/CORgenyt SUBSCRIBE: http://go.cwtv.com/YTSubscribe About The CW: Official YouTube Channel for The CW Network featuring the hit series Riverdale, as well as Black Lightning, The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Supernatural, The 100, Dynasty, In the Dark, and Roswell, New Mexico. Connect with…

ASMR from Homecoming Season 1 | Amazon Prime Video

These are the satisfying sounds from Homecoming season 1. Get ready for all of the ASMR tingles. About Homecoming: The critically-acclaimed series Homecoming returns for its second season with new twists and an exciting new star, Janelle Monáe. Her character wakes in a rowboat adrift a lake, with no memory of how she got there…

Aggretsuko: Season 3 | Official Trailer | Netflix

Retsuko’s rage rises another octave when she finds herself moonlighting with an underground idol group to pay off her debts. Premieres August 27 only on Netflix. SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/29qBUt7 About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service with 193 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films across…

Klaus Wrote A Pop Song For The Umbrella Academy | Netflix

We teamed up with Schmoyoho, a channel from The Gregory Brothers (Michael, Andrew, Sarah and Evan) to Songify one of our favorite storylines from Umbrella Academy season two, featuring one of our favorite characters, Klaus. He already dresses like a rockstar, so we thought it only fitting he get his own smash dance hit. SCHMOYOHO…

Once We Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band – Trailer (Official) • Now Streaming on Hulu

Once We Were Brothers is now streaming, only on Hulu. ABOUT ONCE WE WERE BROTHERS A moving story of Robertson’s personal journey, overcoming adversity and finding camaraderie alongside the four other men who would become his brothers in one of the most enduring groups in the history of popular music, THE BAND. SUBSCRIBE TO HULU’S…

Power Book II: Ghost | Official Trailer | STARZ

The legacy lives on. Power Book II: Ghost premieres September 6 on STARZ. #PowerGhost #PowerNeverEnds #PowerTV Subscribe to the STARZ YouTube Channel for more Power: http://bit.ly/1kalhP0 Get your special offer of the STARZ app: https://starz.tv/32s4aGT Like Power Book II: Ghost on Facebook: https://bit.ly/2Zfs6gw Follow Power Book II: Ghost on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ghoststarz Follow Power Book II:…
Avatar
Sean Boelman
Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here