If you’re not familiar with The Darwin Awards, they are awards given out to people who inadvertently cause their own death by doing incredibly stupid things. This movie is a quasi-reenactment of some of the dumber people to end up on the list.
There’s a man (David Arquette) who straps a jet engine to the back of his car and ends up speeding 3,000 miles an hour into a mountain. There’s a hunter (Chris Penn) that tries to create a fishing hole using dynamite. Unfortunately his dog knows how to fetch. There’s a guy (Ty Burrell) who gets his arm stuck in a vending machine that ends up toppling over on him. There’s a duo of stoned guys who try to sneak into a rock concert using a rope tied to their van, but put it in drive instead of reverse, causing them to get flattened. But the best scene is when a woman (Julianna Margulies) puts her Winnebago on cruise control to give her husband a blowjob. It ends up going off the road and crashing into a dentist office and she ends up biting his penis off.
If the movie had just been reenactments of stupid people doing stupid things to wind up dead or maimed, The Darwin Awards could’ve been a lot of fun. Unfortunately the movie is saddled with an extremely worthless framing device in which two insurance claim officers (Joseph Fiennes and Winona Ryder) investigating the deaths fall in love, that takes up too much screen time and gets in the way of the fun.
If Fiennes and Ryder’s characters weren’t in the movie, The Darwin Awards may have been a classic. Despite their annoying appearances (I have nothing against their performances, it’s just that their characters are totally unnecessary) the film is worth a look just for the great cast, which also includes Juliette Lewis, Josh Charles, D.B. Sweeney, Nora Dunn, Wilmer Valderrama, the dudes from Mythbusters and even Metallica.