Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: First Trailer For Oliver Stone’s ‘Snowden’ Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley & Nicolas Cage Watch: First Trailer For Oliver Stone’s ‘Snowden’ Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley & Nicolas Cage 'Thor: The Dark World' Director Alan Taylor Says His Marvel Experience Was "Particularly Wrenching" 'Thor: The Dark World' Director Alan Taylor Says His Marvel Experience Was "Particularly Wrenching" Watch: Anna Paquin Is Rescued In Clip From 'X-Men: Days of Future Past - The Rogue Cut' Watch: Anna Paquin Is Rescued In Clip From 'X-Men: Days of Future Past - The Rogue Cut' Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man 2' Is "One Of The Best Superhero Movies Ever," Talks John Hughes Influence On New Spidey Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man 2' Is "One Of The Best Superhero Movies Ever," Talks John Hughes Influence On New Spidey Watch: Live Your Ultimate Fantasy With The First NSFW Trailer For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' Watch: Live Your Ultimate Fantasy With The First NSFW Trailer For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' Review & Recap: ‘True Detective’ Season 2, Episode 2, ‘Night Finds You’ Review & Recap: ‘True Detective’ Season 2, Episode 2, ‘Night Finds You’ Terrence Malick’s ‘Knight Of Cups’ Won’t Arrive Until 2016, Austin Music Scene Drama Not Titled ‘Weightless’ Terrence Malick’s ‘Knight Of Cups’ Won’t Arrive Until 2016, Austin Music Scene Drama Not Titled ‘Weightless’ The Punisher Will Reportedly Appear As The Villain In ‘Daredevil’ Season 2 The Punisher Will Reportedly Appear As The Villain In ‘Daredevil’ Season 2 'Lucy 2' And 'Colombiana 2' Are In Development 'Lucy 2' And 'Colombiana 2' Are In Development Mixed Reactions For Marvel's 'Ant-Man' After First Press Screening Plus New Promos And Pics Mixed Reactions For Marvel's 'Ant-Man' After First Press Screening Plus New Promos And Pics The Essentials: The 5 Best Rachel McAdams Performances The Essentials: The 5 Best Rachel McAdams Performances Watch: Tom Hardy Does Double Duty In Trailer For Gangster Drama 'Legend' Watch: Tom Hardy Does Double Duty In Trailer For Gangster Drama 'Legend' The 25 Best TV Shows Of The 2014/2015 Season The 25 Best TV Shows Of The 2014/2015 Season Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man' Is "Definitely A Sony Picture," Talks Role Of 'Ant-Man' In Phase 3, More Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man' Is "Definitely A Sony Picture," Talks Role Of 'Ant-Man' In Phase 3, More The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 10 All-Time Best Episodes Of 'Parks And Recreation' The 10 All-Time Best Episodes Of 'Parks And Recreation' The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Tribeca Review: Despite Myriad Celebrity Cameos 'Revenge For Jolly!' Is Excruciating

The Playlist By Gabe Toro | The Playlist April 22, 2012 at 1:18PM

Kudos to Brian Petsos, a bit actor who has pulled off an Orson Welles-level achievement in not only nabbing a brilliant cast to star in “Revenge For Jolly!” which he wrote, but also having the clout to save the lead role for himself. Welles did this with his talent, vision and status as a cinematic titan. Petsos, if we’re being charitable, most likely had to resort to blackmail, extortion and/or just plain bribery, as “Revenge For Jolly!” may be the most excruciating 80+ minutes you spend in a theater this year.
40
Revenge For Jolly

Kudos to Brian Petsos, a bit actor who has pulled off an Orson Welles-level achievement in not only nabbing a brilliant cast to star in “Revenge For Jolly!” which he wrote, but also having the clout to save the lead role for himself. Welles did this with his talent, vision and status as a cinematic titan. Petsos, if we’re being charitable, most likely had to resort to blackmail, extortion and/or just plain bribery, as “Revenge For Jolly!” may be the most excruciating 80+ minutes you spend in a theater this year.

Petsos plays Harry, an organized crime underling who has upset the wrong people. One such person comes to his house while Harry is away and ritualistically murders his precious dog, Jolly, whom we are led to believe was the only thing keeping Harry away from the precipice of despair. Harry is familiar, of course; a rangy, mumbly Jeremy Davies-type, though Petsos gives this lunkhead a gaunt, worried visage and slicked-back long hair, topped off with his thick-lipped perma-frown as if Tommy Wiseau was dosed with Joker products from “Batman.”

Revenge For Jolly

Harry finds brief relief from wayward cousin Cecil (Oscar Isaac, why?), who encourages Harry’s plan to stockpile a small arsenal of weapons and find the guilty party. Each stop, populated by a bevy of respectable actors, plays out roughly the same. Harry and Cecil, already drunk and/or high, wave their guns around like idiots and demand answers, everyone makes irrelevant small-talk, guns are fired, and the two leave a stack of bodies behind. It was likely copied and pasted several times in the script: ‘HARRY walks out the door, leaving behind fresh corpses.’

Director Chadd Harbold must have added the extra “d” for deliberation, since his favorite directing tool seems to be the pregnant pause. Characters communicate as if they were in a David Lynch movie, and Harbold keeps the camera running to capture the unusual beats between sentences as if he were mining gold out of nothing. Except there’s nothing all that extraordinary about these characters or what they have to say. Elijah Wood’s bartender must produce the slowest service in town. Gillian Jacobs’ prostitute must only see two johns a day at most. It’s a way of giving a fresh spin to what are essentially revenge movie staples, but it doesn’t add substance, rather it subtracts, illuminating just how tiresome these characters can be.

The one promising moment is when Harry and Cecil find themselves at an after-hours law firm, where each shiny suited lawyer slowly walks out one-by-one to lecture the information-seeking stoners on why they should leave. First, “SNL” vet Bobby Moynihan emerges from a back room, then a long-haired Adam Brody, both dropping non-sequiturs and threats while Cecil reads a women’s health magazine, and Harry, in his default position, stares off into space. There’s a kernel of surreal inspiration to this idea of gaudy after-hours lawyers packing heat, though the head of the firm (the peerless David Rasche) emerges with none of the affectations of his co-workers, and another gory shootout occurs. Somehow this was all written, though it all seems improvised on the spot. Well, except for ‘HARRY walks out the door, leaving behind fresh corpses.’  

Revenge For Jolly

Their bloody rampage, which at no point involves cops, eventually takes the duo to a wedding, providing the film’s violent climax though it’s clear all scenes could be re-edited together in just about any fashion. Here, Kristen Wiig, coming off an Oscar nomination for “Bridesmaids,” is degraded by being put in a wedding dress, having her posterior spanked by Garret Dillahunt, getting to shout non-comedic obscenities and having a couple of teeth punched out of her mouth. Kevin Corrigan gets the only laugh of the movie during a rambling drunken wedding speech, and it is an oasis in the desert. 

The Tribeca press pack promises “there is never a dull moment” in “Revenge For Jolly!” which seems to be a new definition of the word “dull.” There are three types of scenes in this film, alternating between each other like a nightmarish merry-go-round. One involves lots of quick cuts, screaming and vulgarity. Another involves shared gunfire, mostly emerging from actors who appear to have never held a gun before. And the third, and most common, involves long silences of characters standing around, seemingly occupying dead space as if they were given no direction, no motivation, and no character to play, which seems somewhat accurate when observing the finished product. That last one? Yeah, sure sounds like dull to me. [F]

This article is related to: Tribeca Film Festival, Revenge For Jolly, Kristen Wiig, Kevin Corrigan, Adam Brody, Bobby Moynihan, Garret Dillahunt, Gillian Jacobs, Elijah Wood


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates