Saturday, August 9, 2014
REVENGE FOR JOLLY! (2012)
Directed By: Chadd Harbold
Written By: Brian Petsos
Cinematography By: Daniel Katz
Editor: Vito DeSario, Micah Scarpelli
Cast: Brian Petsos, Oscar Issac, Elijah Wood, Ryan Phillippe, Kevin Corrigan, David Rasche, Jayne Atkinson, Bobby Moynihan, Garret Dillahunt, Adam Brody, Gillian Jacobs, Kristen Wiig, Amy Seimetz
REVENGE FOR JOLLY! follows a man who, with the help of his cousin, seeks to avenge the death of his beloved dog, who was killed under confusing and suspicious circumstances. The two men follow a series of clues in an attempt to track down the dog's murderer, leaving a path of destruction in their wake. --This is a film with it's deadpan, dark monotone humor. Has a few good laughs and an interesting premise, but feels or the most part like a wasted opportunity.
The film starts off well with a premise that feels like it's going into a more comedic early Tarantino territory. Then is quickly seems to disintegrate into a NATURAL BORN KILLERS type take on THE BOONDOCKS SAINTS. Except the boondocks saints had a more solid story overall.
Here the main characters are likeable psychopaths who seek revenge. Yet while they go about things by going down the line of suspects. They are violent screw-ups. While usually drunk or high. They also have no fear so they are perfect killing machines. Whose safety we never worry about. Nor do they so that takes a certain dynamic or thrill out of the proceedings. Wondering how they will get out of this one. Sure they get I hired but seems more like a bunch of flesh wounds to them.
For all the recognizable cast. Which is a mystery to how the star-writer-director got them. Must have been owed some favors. Because it certainly isn't the script. They just seem to be here for cameos and name recognition on the poster. Usually to play a ridiculously comedic over the top character thy gets killed and the violence isn't divided. Women get it just as bad as the men. --Some of the cameos are more inspired then others. Garret Dillahunt, Adam Brody and bobby Moynihan come to mind though they all seem to be parodies of Gangster movie types.
Most of the characters in this film work or exist in a criminal underground universe. Which is why I guess they are all expendable.
Oscar Isaac as a major co-star is the only actor to rise above the material and create a debauched yet funny and original comedic character. He is the only thing noteworthy in the film.
The film has a 90's straight to home video feel or Friday night on HBO in the 90's vibe. While they had all these supposedly original thrillers, comedies, action and horror films they were really the hammer buying the rights to low budget films that couldn't find theatrical distribution. Usually starring b-list libel actors that allowed them to graduate from supporting roles to leads. It infamously happened with the film THE LAST SEDUCTION that kept Star Linda Fiorentino from getting a best actress nomination as the film premiered on HBO television first.
The film also seems to be a vanity project as it's star is also it's writer.. Placing himself amongst all these stars and he doesn't excel at any of the jobs he takes on. He is rather ok to passable in each. Which says something and everything you might need to know. As he tries to make a name for himself.