If there’s a person behind the persona of Jimmy McMillan, the flamboyant fringe pol who ran for governor of New York on the “rent is too damn high” ticket, docu “Damn!” utterly fails to find him. Chock-full of off-puttingly pixelated YouTube clips, including the one that scored millions of hits in the days after McMillan’s shticky turn at the 2010 gubernatorial debate, Aaron Fisher-Cohen’s uninvestigative pic is otherwise content simply to follow the Brooklyn-based, white-mutton-chops-sporting candidate on his expletive-laden, palm-pressing tour of the five boroughs. Even at 73 minutes, the film is, well, too damn long.
A Vietnam vet, soul singer and black-belt karate master who has run for office at least six times since 1993, the sixtysomething McMillan would seem the ideal subject for a colorful film bio. Alas, Fisher-Cohen appears hell-bent on favoring the candidate’s “damn” soundbite to the exclusion of nearly all else, the better to serve his own monotonous message that shallow catchphrases and caricatures trump political discourse in the Internet age. Intriguing narrative developments, including the news that McMillan plans to run for president as a Republican, are related through intertitles.