Cooties is one of the better comedies I have seen in a while, yet it still has some glaring flaws. In a world saturated by rom coms, college broseph movies and movies that are just not funny at all, Cooties seems like a breath of fresh air because it’s fun but unfortunately it falls a little flat in the last twenty minutes or so, which is disappointing because I really liked the premise and most of the execution.
Clint (Elijah Wood) is a new substitute teacher at Ft. Chicken Elementary School and is only doing it to earn some extra money while he finishes a book he is writing about a boat. Clint is introduced to the school’s staff, which includes Wade (Rainn Wilson) and his girlfriend, Lucy (Allison Pill) who Clint used to have a crush on when he went to Ft. Chicken Elementary many years ago.
A tainted chicken nugget, eaten by a 4th grade girl in the cafeteria turns her into a zombie (Well, kinda - They’re more like the infected from 28 Days Later and they’re only children who haven’t gone through puberty yet). Chaos ensues and the teachers eventually lock themselves in the school to protect them from the children.
Cooties starts out very strong but descends into typical horror comedy tropes which I can look the other way about - This isn’t a perfect movie and shouldn’t be taken seriously. There are some great one liners and Jorge Garcia’s character is pretty hilarious, despite him not doing too much. Leigh Whannel of Saw fame (he co-wrote and stars in this movie as a teacher) is a great writer and it shows in the dialogue. Like I said before, plot-wise, the movie starts to fall apart near the end and then just ends almost abruptly.
A lot of violence happens off screen and there isn’t a lot of blood and gore but the few scenes that do include it, are well done and will satisfy gore hounds and turn off those with weak stomachs. The opening credit scene alone might turn off some of the faint of heart. I do need to add that the sound of the gory/gross-out scenes was very well done. Puss oozes and blood splatters with as if someone turned the volume up in the editing room and it’s very effective. Expect any women around you to wince.
Rainn Wilson and Elijah Wood shine the most in this movie, with a lot of the comedy coming from Wilson who is always good in everything he does. From TV’s The Office and Super (which you need to watch if you love superheroes) to his more dramatic role like Hesher, Rainn Wilson is always on point with his deliveries and always delivers; his lines got the most laughs out of me. As usual, Elijah Wood also turns in a solid performance and the character is well-rounded and likeable as the character we are supposed to identify and sympathize with, even though there are a few times we are laughing at him.
All in all, Cooties is one of the better comedies I’ve seen in a while, which may not be saying much about the state of comedy movies these days. Like I said before, it’s not supposed to be taken seriously and is by no means perfect or outstandingly memorable but it is good for solid laughs, some gore and fun.