Revenge for Jolly: Tribeca Review

Revenge for Jolly!

Director Chadd Harbold and writer-star Brian Petsos' dark comedy boasts a secondary cast that includes Elijah Wood, Kristen Wiig and Adam Brody in a story that sees Petsos and Oscar Isaac go on a rampage to avenge the murder of a beloved dog.

A series of big-name cameos can't make this boozy killing spree funny.

Screenwriter Brian Pestos leads the pic as Harry, whose unspecified-but-shady actions have made someone angry enough to break into his house and kill his much-beloved Miniature Pinscher, Jolly. With cousin Cecil (Oscar Isaac), Harry goes on a beer-fueled hunt for the culprit, stalking through the night in an old burgandy Cadillac whose trunk holds a small arsenal.

Each stop on their dopey-detective path holds a celeb or two, each of whom quickly manages to rub Cecil just wrong enough that he kills him. A couple of cast members make the most of their death scenes -- David Rasche's gurgling moment of defiance hints at what the film probably hoped to be -- but just as often then simply get shot and die, in deadpan moments that are too predictable to provoke the shock-laughs the pic expects.

Pestos is a dead zone in these encounters, his sullen-desperado act never charismatic enough to hold the thing together. He and Isaac never achieve sufficient zonked chemistry to carry interludes like the break for Mexican food where cerveza is ordered by the six-pack; instead the scenes just drag. The centerpiece sequence, set at an unsettlingly seedy wedding reception, gets a glimmer of nasty energy from Kevin Corrigan and others, but is too little, too late.

Venue: Tribeca Film Festival, Cinemania
Production Company: Atlas Independent, A Saboteur
Cast: Brian Petsos, Oscar Isaac, Elijah Wood, Kristen Wiig, Adam Brody, Ryan Phillippe, Gillian Jacobs, Bobby Moynihan, Kevin Corrigan, David Rasche
Director: Chadd Harbold
Screenwriter: Brian Petsos
Producers: William Green, Aaron Ginsburg, Brian Petsos
Executive producers: Alan G. Glazer, Chris Wilmot, Michael Wunderman, Peter Fruchtman, Dan Berk
Director of photography: Daniel Katz
Production designer: Chris Trujillo
Music: David Fleming, Justin Hori
Costume designer: Amanda Ford
Editors: Micah Scarpelli, Vito Desario
Sales: Bec Smith, UTA
No rating, 84 minutes