Some lessons don’t need to be learned, they are just already known. Canvas, a bad idea sprinkled with a little Gary Busey charm and some classic early-90’s movie music (long guitar chords with loud drum thumps) is a lesson that isn’t worth learning, unless you happen to be a martyr. That lesson is that art and action don’t mix. This movie never should have been attempted, and the world is no better off for it.
The lead role is an artist with a screw-up brother who is always getting him into trouble and whining obnoxiously. That last part is extremely important, because not only as the writing and acting for that particular role horrible, the character is so annoying as to make any scene involving him borderline unwatchable. Its not funny annoying, like the sidekick in National Treasure. It isn’t cute annoying, like Tina Fey in 30 Rock. Its simply painful. So, as I said, if you’re a martyr and truly want to see the most annoying performance in modern movie history, watch this film.
Busey plays the main antagonist of the film, and he performs adequately. But the movie isn’t centered around him, its centered around John Rhys-Davies and Vittorio Rossi, so needless to say the film doesn’t play to its strengths and simply flops overall. There is no tension, no relating with the characters, and no gripping scenes of any kind. There were times when I was watching where I wondered if it was actually a satire of the genre, but it seems much more likely that the movie was just poor than that the writers were incredibly, convolutedly witty.
I have a bit of an affinity for early 90’s films. But if you’re looking for a solid watch, go for In the Mouth of Madness, and skip Canvas.