Film review: Choke

(Cert 18)

For all its flaws and fumbles there is a certain guilty pleasure in Choke. This is a bawdy, scattershot satire, adapted from the novel by Chuck Palahniuk and showcasing a puckish performance from Sam Rockwell as Victor Mancini, a serial scam artist and rapacious sex addict. When he's not tending to his demented mother (Anjelica Huston), Victor is either kicking back with his best buddy (a compulsive masturbator) or haplessly hitting on every woman he meets.

At least Choke doesn't attempt to glamourise or ennoble these encounters - Victor's antics are shown as pitiful and generally calamitous; great splurges of humiliating low comedy. If only writer-director Clark Gregg didn't have self-control issues of his own. He rushes us excitably through scenes in order to reach the climax and ruins Huston's big moment by allowing the boom mic to bob merrily into shot. Pay attention, Clark! It's practically bouncing off her head.


Xan Brooks

The GuardianTramp

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