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5 Reasons The End Of The Tour Is Almost A Superhero Movie

end of the tour


After a summer of exhausting blockbusters, the time has come to cleanse your pallet with a film that puts discourse before disaster. The true story of a week Rolling Stone journalist David Lipsky spent with celebrated writer David Foster Wallace (who took his own life in 2008), The End of the Tour has ruffled the feathers of Wallace’s most possessive fans and friends, but just about everyone else should appreciate the film’s affecting performances from Jesse Eisenberg and Jason Segel (as Lipsky and Wallace, respectively) and carefully calibrated script. This absorbing two-hander may seem miles away from the blockbusters dominating the multiplexes in recent months, but as The End of the Tour demonstrates, Wallace was his own kind of superhero.

1. He had a uniform


Long hair, glasses, and a bandana aren’t quite as iconic as the Superman S, but they help Wallace stand out in a crowd.

2. He was a loner


While Wallace had some surprising social rituals—dance classes, TV-watching with neighbours, church—his literary powers caused him to spend much of his time in seclusion, a lifestyle choice that remains popular with the world’s foremost superheroes.

3. He had an adversary


Okay, it’s definitely an exaggeration to suggest that David Lipsky was Wallace’s enemy. In fact, all evidence suggests that their brief time together was cordial and even friendly. However, the movie version of Lipsky is played by future Lex Luthor Jesse Eisenberg, and his onscreen relationship with Wallace culminates in a series of lengthy silences, a rejected hug, and the mother of all passive aggressive slights: a single shoe mailed with a cryptic note.

4. He had special powers


At the time The End of the Tour takes place, Wallace was promoting Infinite Jest, his sprawling, hyper-dense 1079-page magnum opus. The Lipsky book that documents part of this book tour (Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself) abundantly demonstrates his subject’s powers of everyday insight—using roughly the same words Jason Segel speaks onscreen.

5. Crowds gathered to see him work his magic


A kind of literary rock star—thus Rolling Stone’s interest—Wallace attracted huge crowds of readers/autograph-seekers. This is standard book tour stuff, but it helps elevate an otherwise impressive character to full-blown superhero status.

The End of the Tour opens this weekend in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. Check out the trailer below: