To be honest, this movie isn't a sequel to the first film in any relatable sense. Some characters appear with the same names as some in the first film, there is some narration that happens, a goth kid goes to a punk show, gets hammered, has a revelation while getting the hell beat out of him, and end show? SLC Punk! was a surprisingly great film. This one? Not so much. The production values weren't good, the acting was uninspired, and the direction was horrible. The original was one of those films better left on its own. It was like they were pressured to make it at gunpoint and this was the post-mortem product.This is what happens when you try to recapture lightning in a bottle while standing in a half-full kiddy pool.
SLC PUNK 2: PUNK'S DEADSeventeen years after writer-director James Merendino released his semi-autobiographical film SLC Punk!, he has returned with Punk's Dead: SLC Punk 2. In the most recent chapter of this series, we follow Ross, "Heroin" Bob's love child with Trish – if you have not seen the first movie – go rent it, come back and then read this review – and his passage thru adolescent angst. This movie is not a "sequel" in any traditional sense of the word. It does not pick up exactly where the other movie left off and fill in the blanks all nice and tidy The movie begins in typical SLC Punk fashion with "Heroin" Bob crashing thru the underworld to narrate the story of his son's trials and tribulations, introduce characters, and wax punkly poetic. I am pretty sure Bob is still in the apartment Stevo & Bob lived in during the original film – nothing like the promises of the afterlife only to end up back in Utah, but I digress. Bob begins by detailing a "here's what happened" synopsis to get us caught up to present day Due to the fact that Bob OD's and Trish, is crazy, Ross does have an overly morbid worldview. Ross has a couple friends – Crash and Penny. Crash, portrayed by rapper Machine Gun Kelly and Hannah Marks portraying Penny. Kelly actually does a pretty impressive job of depicting a troubled teen with a "you wish I gave a ***" attitude – not entirely sure if that's acting on his part – but he does manage to bring some heart to the relationship between Ross and himself. Penny is portrayed as "one of the guys" though I am not entirely sure as to why. After Ross gets his heart broken, the best way to get over a break up is to go party – at a punk concert, which by the by, the way the movie is shot is pretty impressive you're literally in the middle of mosh pits, huge crowd fights, on stage with the band. It's pretty phenomenal. Meanwhile, back in Salt Lake City – Trish, and emo/Mormon, Shelley, Sean, John – the mod, and Eddie – all from the original film join forces to find Ross as he is nowhere to be found and given his recent heartbreak and general gloominess, that can't be good. On a personal note, aside from the analysis of this movie, I am a fan of the original SLC Punk! I thought the soundtrack for both this movie and the original was absolutely amazing. It marries both ends of punk spectrum. I never was part of the punk scene, I'm afraid I was just born too late. I couldn't be a part of it and watch it grow and eventually dissolve. What I did watch was the way that the different genres of music were affected not only by punk music but its mentality. It was the irreverent attitude, the absolute disregard for order, the disdain of conformity, that I found myself, as a teenager, believing in. I think that regardless of whether or not you were a part of this movement or whether or not you even like rock music, punk rock, heavy metal, whatever. You find that these people despite their differences from yourself and their lives from yours, they are familiar somehow. You know them, you love them, you want them to love you, you hate them, they hate you, you want to punch them in the mouth. Somehow though, it is the music and this mindset that brings people together and shatters the differences that separate us. Review by Sara Conrad
Such is life that I will never be able to be 21 again and see SLC Punk for the first time. It's a movie I proudly watch with my kids. Punk's Dead is incredible. As an alternative Mom, I identify with Trish. I've got responsibilities but I still can't fit in. I think it's okay and my kids turned out okay. Punk's Dead is nostalgic, pays homage to SLC Punk and Punk Rock, I cried a few time and laughed a lot. The actors old and new are amazing. Hannah Marks reminds me of myself at her age and Ben Schnetzer is perfect, portraying a kid that grew up to fast. I like the different vibe between the kids who are just having fun and the adults bitterness.
I wanted to like it. For gods sake I have heroin bob tattooed on me. the shallow time of a hour and fifteen made me nervous from the start I know this movie didn't have a budget like the last one but if Kevin smith can make clerks I'm pretty sure James could have rubbed a little bit of a better especially with the time he took to make this too. It felt overly rushed I almost can't describe it. The characters were barely there. The whole plot of the movie takes place because of a event described for a few minutes. bobs skull cap was horrendous especially in the opening sequence. Little things for the time period were off (again low budget not necessarily in his control) but this is supposedly the early 2000s then why are they using 2010+ cell phones that's just poor direction. Also the fact of no mention whatsoever of Steveo seemed weird. Shawn drew it together and was the only character and maybe Trish that I enjoyed seeing again very well written stories for those two. In the end it tried too hard to capture on slc punk and grow and yet start something new with Ross and his two friends if it had more time to develop it would have been better. If your a die-hard SLC punk fan see it once to see some old faces again then forget about it.