Michael Cera pretty much plays Michael Cera, again, in this trying road-/drug-trip movie. Cera plays Jamie, an entitled American on holiday in Chile, where he drinks, snorts and smokes substances while talking about phenomenology, the Doors of Perception and, most importantly, the hallucinogenic San Pedro cactus. Jamie and Chilean bud Champa (Juan Andres Silva) set out to find the plant and get their mescaline experience, accompanied by two of Champa’s friends and an exhausting but nice enough hippie named Crystal Fairy (a fearless Gabby Hoffman) whom a wasted Jamie asked along for the ride. Immediately regretting his intoxicated invite, Jamie is a total dick to “Crystal Hairy” while his gracious friends try to make the best of their journey. Inspired by his own psychedelic adventure, writer-director Sebastian Silva is going for a profound, collective-consciousness payoff here, but Cera’s character is so unlikable—in an intolerable, ineffective way—that one of the most enjoyable moments is his initial bad reaction to the mescaline. That said, Crystal Fairy is beautifully shot—gritty and gorgeous—and Hoffman turns a one-note role into a three-dimensional, natural character who endears more than originally expected. Ditto for Jamie’s three male traveling companions, portrayed, quite affectingly, by Silva’s own brothers.
- Running Time:
- Release Date: Tuesday, July 23, 2013
- Critic's Score: C+
- Watch the trailer