3, 2, 1...Frankie Go Boom is another one of those manic comedies based in familial strife where none of the characters behave like anyone ever would in real life. Fair enough, there's certainly a place for absurdity and crudity in movies, but writer/director Jordan Roberts' (Around the Bend) film punishes its audience for caring about what he's set up in the first act by quickly transforming into an unglued mass of nonsense, one that seems as cruel to the audience as it does to its cast.
Frankie has an uneasy relationship with his brother. Bruce (Chris O'Dowd) has always been a bit of a fuck up; in fact, when we meet him as an adult, he's just finishing up a stint in rehab. There's little, if any, kind of fraternal bond between these guys. Bruce constantly tortured Frankie when they were kids, perpetrating an endless series of pranks on Frankie so he could videotape them. It's been years since the brothers have seen each other, thanks to Bruce allowing Frankie's humiliation at his wedding to go viral on the internet.
After attending Bruce's exit ceremony from rehab with his parents (Nora Dunn and Sam Anderson), Frankie quite literally crashes into Lassie (Lizzy Caplan). She's drunk and very recently jilted, so, of course, they decide to go back to Frankie's place to have sex, which is all fine and dandy, except Frankie can't quite seal the deal physically. Well, guess what, Bruce videotaped the entire thing and plans to share his "film" with others. Bruce passes the goods on to Jack (Chris Noth), a washed up actor who he met in rehab, who, of course, ends up being Lassie's father. The entire film devolves into a banal dash to get the sex tape before Jack sees it or it hits the web.
Here's the thing: most all of these actors deserve better than what they're dealt here, especially Ron Perlman whose ex-convict in drag (okay, post-op gender reassignment) routine is played in the most obvious direction it could ever go. It's enough to make one wonder if any of the actors read beyond the first thirty pages of the script before signing on to the project. It's almost more of an insult to the audience that 3, 2, 1...Frankie Go Boom begins well enough before becoming the boring, convoluted mess it will be remembered for being, if it's remembered at all.
3, 2, 1...Frankie Go Boom opens at the Hollywood Theatre on Friday, October 12th. More info available here.
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