Buddy Hutchins (2015)



Do you remember the Michael Douglas/Robert Duvall film Falling Down? If not let me refresh your memory. A defense department employees life falls apart, and he takes out his vengeance on those who've wronged him. Anyone who tried to intervene in his homicidal spree and was killed was considered collateral damage. The 2015 version of Falling Down is called Buddy Hutchins and stars of all people Jamie Kennedy as the title character whose life is following a similar path, with similar results as the Michael Douglass character in Falling Down.

The film industry rips itself off more than it comes up with anything original. It doesn't necessarily mean that a film is going to be bad just because it's central plot driver is very similar to another film. Does that mean Now that being said, comparisons aside, this often happens, especially in idea bereft Hollywood. Buddy Hutchins is good? God no. But it's not terrible either.

Written and Directed by Jared Cohn, and if that name seems familiar dear readers it's because he is the man that performed the same duties for the cinematic abortion that was 12/12/12 (review HERE). While 12/12/12 was one of the worst things I've ever seen, Cohn does a much better job crafting a narrative that actually makes sense. His direction is fine, with only a couple nitpicky things, and the script while not perfect (more on that later) is certainly good enough to hang with most independent thriller/horror films.

The real strength of Buddy Hutchins comes from it's lead, Jamie Kennedy. I know what you are thinking. Jamie Kennedy - in a serious role? you have to be kidding. Hell, you are preaching to choir here. But Kennedy actually does a really good job of infusing what is a rather dower, wooden, and paint by numbers film with a bit of charm and humanity. I'm not saying he's on his way to dramatic actor stardom, but I will say that his performance is by far the most surprising thing about the film.

If Kennedy is the most surprising positive revelation about the Buddy Hutchins, it's script has to be the most negative. As a writer, perhaps I care about this stuff a little too much but some the plot points made zero sense. Hutchins life is spiraling out of control, partially because his dry cleaning business is failing, yet every time there is a problem at the store there are seemingly 50 people who need his services. Does dry cleaning really have that slim of a profit margin? I know there is never anyone at my local dry cleaners and they have been in business for decades. Plus, a non- Asian dry cleaner? What is this a fantasy film? Racial stereotypes aside, there are plenty of other issues with the Buddy Hutchins script. Buddy kills his ex-wife with a chainsaw. No one hears this- despite the cops just being at his house. He kills a cop and sticks him behind some bushes. When the "detective" and 10 other cops show up at his house looking for said cop no one checks the bushes where not only the cop was placed but another victim as well? I know LAPD...but come on...and the less said about the denouement and the sense it makes the better.

The Buddy Hutchins cast is rounded out by Sally Kirkland as Buddys mother and a bunch of carry overs from Cohns other films. Kirkland is fine despite the fact that when she's dying only her face turns yellow - her neck and ears stay perfectly flesh colored. The carry overs are actually all pretty good - no indie film cringe worthy performances despite the hit and miss nature of some of the films individual lines. There are a couple cool cameos in the film, I won't spoil them but if you are fan of the View Askewniverse or WWE you will be pleasantly surprised. So kudos to the film for bringing those folks in and eliciting a nice smile on my face.

Buddy Hutchins is a paint by numbers thriller that's highlighted by a pretty good dramatic turn from Jamie Kennedy. It rises slightly above your average indie film morass, which is more than anyone has an right to expect from a film like this. Buddy Hutchins hits VOD and DVD later this winter - you can check out the original DreadWorld news item on the film HERE.

** and 1/2 Stars out of *****

That's it for me. As always, thanks for reading, and "enjoy every sandwich."

1 comment:

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