Home > Movie, Review > Movie Review: Choke (2008)

Movie Review: Choke (2008)

I promised you guys more than just book reviews, but what can I say, I read more books than I finish movies and definitely videogames.  I play them a lot, but it takes me forever to finish.  Anyway, I’m finally keeping that by-line promise.  Here be my first movie review! (They will be much shorter than the book reviews).

Vincent had to drop out of medical school to get a full-time job as a colonial reenactor in order to pay the bills to keep his Alzheimer’s mother in a good home for people with mental illness.  To help boost the bank account, he sometimes pretends to choke in fancy restaurants, then sues his rescuers.  Of course, that’s what he goes to meetings for.  He goes to meetings because he’s a sex addict.  When he meets his mother’s new doctor, he starts to question who he really is when he discovers that he might sort of actually like her.

I admit it.  I have a weakness for movies about legitimately crazy people finding their way through life. Particularly when finding their way involves falling in love.  Although the title implies that Vincent’s scam is the focus of the movie, in fact it is about how his random childhood with his mother and foster families made him who he is today.

For a movie based on a Chuck Palahniuk book, this isn’t very graphic.  Clearly since Vincent’s a sex addict, there are some moderately graphic sex scenes, but there is little violence and the sex is pretty normal.  I’ve seen more disturbing scenes on Entourage.

The acting is good.  It’s nothing mind-blowing, but it’s not bad either.  Setting of the scenes is done quite well.  It feels like the everyday world cranked up a notch.

What makes Choke interesting isn’t the violence shock factor that Fight Club had going for it.  Choke modestly proposes that it’s ok to be a bit crazy–in moderation.  It also dares to suggest that we can be who we decide to be instead of what society says we are as long as we’re aware enough to make that conscious decision.

If you want gratuitous sex from the author who brought us the violence of Fight Club, don’t bother with Choke.  However, if you enjoy movies about the mind and what makes us who we are, give Choke a shot.

3.5 out of 5 stars

Source: Netflix

Buy It

  1. November 2, 2009 at 11:36 pm

    I never saw the movie but I read the book. In the book “choke” he doesn’t sue his rescuers he lets them continue to “rescue” him. Every month he sends them post cards about his dying month, some medical operation he can’t afford, some sad story about work, and people send him money. After all they saved his life, they kind of already taken responsibility for him.

    Chuck Palahniuk is one fucked up motherfucker, between his story and my love of Sam Rockwell I’m very surprised I still haven’t seen this.

    • November 2, 2009 at 11:47 pm

      I’m so jealous you’ve read the book! He’s one of my favorite writers, but I’ve read an ashamingly small number of his works.

      If you read the book, you really should watch the movie. Plus it’s short. Only about an hour and a half.

  2. January 22, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    Yay, this one is my favorite!!! I love it! 😀

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