Inspired by the book of the same title, What We Do Is Secret is done in a biopic style that begs several questions: Could a good old fashioned documentary have paid better homage than this shoddy impersonation of one? Could the supporting actors be bothered to study the real persons that they are portraying? Is it just that they’re so failingly un-eccentric that they can’t be forced into the freak mold with a hydraulic hammer? Why does Dave Vanian of the Damned look like a clown?
But I digress. Shane West does a decent Darby Crash, and apparently the surviving Germs agree: He fills Crash’s shoes at recent Germs reunion gigs.
Still, What We Do Is Secret plays out with all the conviction of an “America’s Most Wanted” crime recreation paired with an after-school special. The film is tragic, but not because it recounts the demise of an icon that left us too soon, rather because it fails to deliver much more than groans.
What We Do Is Secret releases in select theaters Aug. 22.