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    Daily Mail Film Reviewer Christopher Tookey Sinks to New Lows

    I have about three or four nearly finished blogs which I've not quite gotten around to posting yet, so it is with great glee that I thank the mighty Christopher Tookey, for giving me the inspiration to Kick myself up the Ass and throw all of them on the back burner and write this instead.

    Who is this guy you might ask? Well, a quick basic summary would be "regular Daily Mail film reviewer" which might already tell you all you need to know. Those with good memories might recall how much of a storm that shoddy excuse for a newspaper tried to create over a certain David Cronenberg film from 1996, entitled Crash. To cut a long story short, a load of movie critics called Crash dull, boring, poor, not a great film, that kind of thing... Tookey called for it to be banned, under some crazy impression that people watching it might suddenly discover they all want to have sex whilst crashing cars, thus causing a worldwide cult style pile up.

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    Apparently he thinks anybody aroused by car accidents would never discover this watching an episode of Casualty or ER. But his strangely over sensitive view of the world gives you an idea into how his mind works, especially as he claims to have defended other films against harsh critics, such as Reservoir Dogs. I've never quite understood the Monkey See Monkey Do presumption he seems to exhibit here, it lacks consistency. He thought that someone cutting another persons ear off whilst listening to music, nobody will copy that, but watch James Spader trying to crash a car whilst having a hard on, people are going to suddenly discover previously latent sexual deviancies that they never knew existed and suddenly begin acting on them.

    Is this man worried that whilst leaving the car park of his local Tesco's some mad lunatic is going to come madly crashing into his car brandishing an erect penis? Or is he merely worried for the rest of us, because he goes to Waitrose and nobody sexually perverse would ever buy their groceries there?

    I would say not, because of what followed. Whenever someone campaigns for the banning of something as innocuous as a below average film, needless to say the more liberal of us start shouting them down and pointing out how stupid and knee jerk their reaction is. In the case of Crash, various other critics came out and defended it for what it was, a below average film and not a hub of the devil's masterplan Tookey believed it to be.

    Then what did Christopher Tookey do in reply to this hubbub? He wrote an article about how he had unfairly become a hate figure for the liberal establishment, you can read this if you can be bothered to pay for it (I wouldn't bother myself) over at Prospect Magazine's website. Remember this turn of events, it is somewhat connected with what comes later.

    Now, one might take the view here that this guy decided upon the campaign in the first place because it suited the sort of shameless self promotion needed to feed an ego expanded above it's station. One that would drive a person to become the vice-president of The Critic's Circle, or not as it happens, apparently his stance on Crash blew his chances of that position. This is the view I currently hold.

    At this point, as we are analysing his personality, I'd like to bring up a quote by Tookey in an article for The Observer from 1997, in which he says, "It has brought home to me that I have seen so much violence on screen... that I have become desensitised. Talking with the others on the street, I was noticeably less affected by the sight of this guy bleeding to death. After the killing, a number of people had nightmares. Shouldn't I have? It was my lack of reaction that was so chilling."

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    Is this some sort of insight into the dangers of desensitisation that watching too many movies can bring you? For me what is far more chilling, is to experience that, connect it with the fact you watch too many violent movies, and then carry on watching violent movies. Or perhaps this is just a case of some people are more affected by things than others, but it makes a good line in an article. But I digress...

    Fast forward to 2010, a Marvel comic book based flick called Kick-Ass, written by Jane Goldman and directed by Matthew Vaughn hits the screens. I've not seen it yet, I stopped going to the cinema when I finally reached my limit of tolerance for people talking, and having to get up and complain because whatever film we were watching was out of focus, in the wrong aspect ration, playing in stereo and not 5.1, and the projectionist hadn't noticed. But I'm definitely going to get it on DVD when it comes out, it sounds a lot of fun.

    Whilst it is comic book based, kids running around swearing and generally being super heroes isn't quite the angle on the film that Tookey has taken, he claims, "It deliberately sells a perniciously sexualised view of children and glorifies violence, especially knife and gun crime, in a way that makes it one of the most deeply cynical, shamelessly irresponsible films ever."

    But before you take that too seriously, he also says, "Children carrying knives are not cool, but a real and present danger." Well thanks for that, without you to tell us these things we'd never have known. Which reminds me, I need to take back that set of steak knives I'd bought my niece for her 2nd birthday. I thought she could learn to cook with them, but it's clear to me now she'll just go and join a gang.

    Other worrying quotes in his "review" include, "Do we really want to live, for instance, in a culture when the torture and killing of a James Bulger or Damilola Taylor is re-enacted by child actors for laughs?" I mean, wow, just wow, how did you get from this movie to that horrendous act? Is this the new Godwin's law or something?

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    I could dissect his appalling review, but it seems cruel having not seen the movie yet myself, so I'll leave it up to someone who has, Dom Farelli and his wonderful blog entry. What I am going to take serious issue with, is the pathetic follow up article Tookey has had printed in the Daily Fail, and posted unabridged on his website. Yes, the ego it is so huge, it has a whole website.

    Remember his article in Prospect Magazine that I mentioned earlier, in which he claimed to have been attacked heavily (I would say deservedly so) by the liberal elite? That was a laughable article, but one that at least didn't plough the depths that this new one has.

    If the title of, "HOW I FELL FOUL OF THE INTERNET LYNCH MOB", and the subtitle of, "I believe this is one of the most important pieces I have ever written about film. Please read it with care, and link to it if you have your own website." doesn't make you sit up and take notice, what will? This is clearly going to be a major piece of journalism, I think to myself in an ironic fashion as I read.

    And then as I read the first line proper, it says, "Cyber-bullying is a plague of epidemic proportions." and suddenly you know where he is going with it. You see when Crash came out in 1996, the Internet was rather small and insignificant. Now we can't even have a general election without the media  claiming the Internet as being the most important battleground, even if that turned out to be false and it is all boiling down to a few hours of TV debates.

    After chucking out a few statistics on the subject, which is a serious problem for kids, he moves on to say, "But cyber-bullying is not confined to children and teenagers." And I start to think, oh dear god, is this guy really going to equate the internet reaction to his loathsome review to the horrendous cyber-bulling that some of our youth now endure? Surely he can't be, surely? And then he does...

    "I can say this with authority because I recently joined the ranks of the cyber-bullied, thanks to a review I wrote of Kick-Ass in the Daily Mail on April 2nd", says Tookey.

    The sad fact here is, he makes some genuinely good points in the article, all of which are overshadowed by the waah waah waah of how people have treated him on sites like Facebook and Twitter. Oh the poor man, someone has created a Facebook group where people write nasty things about him.

    Christopher Tookey, you are a shameless self promoting egotistical twat. That isn't me cyber-bullying you, it is me making a social commentary based on your reviews of Crash and Kick-Ass, and subsequent articles published by you relating to how badly you've been treated for doing so. In actual fact, I don't think anyone has treated you any differently, you wrote stuff, people wrote stuff, big deal.

    Like it or not, you are a public figure, you post what many people believe to be controversial views. You accused a film of promoting paedophilia, and by proxy anyone who enjoyed the said film of being a paedophile. And then you had the cheek to equate the reaction you received to that of poor innocent kids who can be driven to suicide simply because they are different, or even not actually different most of the time.

    Shame on you Tookey, shame on you. Rather than watching a man bleed to death and wondering why it didn't give you nightmares, how about wondering why when people strongly disagree with your publicly spouted opinion and start shouting names at you, instead of it giving you a small insight on what it must be like as a teenager to be on the receiving end of hatred that has NOT been incited, you decided to make it all about you.

    Your Opinions and Comments

    This is a really good article :-)
    posted by Curtis Owen on 29/4/2010 13:32