The Fanatic: The Career Suicide of John Travolta

The Fanatic is directed by Fred Durst. John Travolta plays Moose, a wild fanatic who has an obsession with an actor named Hunter Dunbar. When Dunbar refuses to sign his memorabilia at an event. Moos’ causes hell for the actor.

In 2018, when Travolta did Gotti, he believed that it would earn him Best Actor at the Oscars, but all and everyone else saw was pure Razzie quality, and sure enough he was nominated for Worst Actor. He’s going to get another nomination, and he’s a sure contender to win, because I’m pretty sure I just saw Travolta bury his career in The Fanatic.

This movie is horrible, it’s insane, from the writing to the directing to the repellent confusion of who to side with and who to identify with. The Fanatic has created characters that are so rudimentary, so first-draft-like and so noticeably surface level that there is not an ounce of complexity to be felt.

John Travolta as Moose is one of the worst leading performances I’ve ever seen in my life. Aside from having a bizarre getup with a horrendously noticeable wig, this performance is cringe-inducing for any aspiring actor to watch.

This character struck me as very sensitive and he clearly has difficultly processing information, but the movie never once lets us in on what it is he’s suffering from. His mental state is a mystery and thus I’m left with a portrayal of someone that feels so grossly over the top and so negligently one note.

It’s a character that I do not deem believable in any shape or form. I can’t understand him but Travolta just makes it so shuddering. Moose screams, cries, yells when things don’t go his way. Whenever someone tries to help him, he flips them off and bellows that everyone is out to get him. Travolta only has two notes to play as this character: 'obsessive' and 'baby'.

He regiments this into his performance so much to the point where it physically feels abrasive for me to watch. The reason why this performance deserves the Razzie is because he’s taken a clearly complex individual and has turned him into the antithesis of complex. It’s some of the worst acting I’ve seen in years.

Devon Sawa as Dunbar is also really awful. It's another one-note portrayal but this time he’s just mean and aggressive non-stop. His justification for treating Moose the way he does is arbitrary and poorly set up, which doesn’t make him identifiable in the slightest.

We also have an insultingly ‘on the nose’ Limp Biscuit mention. We have sound cues that feel directly lifted from Man of Steel, and there are these random drawings to break the acts. This movie progressively gets worse and sillier with every minute, and every minute the grave is dug further. With no future IMDb credits to his name, Travolta’s career is over. I’ve never seen such flagrant demonstration of ‘career suicide’ until this movie. Steer clear!

Written by Seán Mac G.

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