Kevin Smith is a master of on screen wish-fulfillment. The first half of his career was dedicated to making his brand the cornerstone for Generation X’s schlubby, geek-stoner populous. Tusk marks Smith’s second feature film since losing his shit, publicly grousing at film critics, openly feuding with Bruce Willis and swearing off Hollywood in general; all coming at the heels of his commercial and critical flop Cop Out. The Kafkaesque Tusk, continues Smith’s awkward celluloid wish fulfillment: Wallace Bryton (Justin Long) is a comedian, podcaster and obvious Kevin Smith avatar. He has a beautiful girlfriend (who he treats like shit), is adored by unseen but oft referenced fans and–in what may be the greatest non-ironic, on-screen humble-brag of 2014–made “$100,000 in podcast advertising last year”. Oh, and the logo for Wallace’s Podcast looks nearly identical to the putrid orange and blue logo smeared across everything SModcast (Smith’s production company) related, from hockey jerseys to AMC reality programming. The first thirty minutes of Tusk presents itself as a comedy and is an utter failure. But once Smith ditches the jokes and commits to the horror, the film becomes more enjoyable. And when Wallace transforms from hip podcaster to helpless victim, the film makes a case that maybe Kevin Smith is becoming a bit more self-aware of his public persona. Maybe.