Operation: Endgame - 30th November 2010

I have absolutely no idea why anyone in this film, a wall to wall list of 'it' comedians and a smattering of recognisable actors you've probably always liked, ever agreed to do this film!
Yet, despite almost everyone in the cast, except Rob Corddry, being somewhat underused it is a brave mix of movie genres that doesn't fit into any one box and therefor doesn't completely work. 10 out of 10 for sheer bloody effort though.
It had three things I like in a film though, comedy, a surprising amount of gore and some good violent action. Which is funny because I didn't expect it to have any of that in it at all.
Basically it is about an underground (literally) secret society, comprised of two teams of spies and assassins, that maintain the balance of power in The States by one side orchestrating ludicrous schemes and the other side covering it up. In the film, their leader, Jeffrey Tambor in a funny and weird cameo gets killed and the murderer triggers Operation: Endgame which basically gives the facility 90 minutes before it blows up and everyone in is killed. This basically means you have two groups of comedians playing sociopathic screw up assassins mistrusting and attacking each other while the clock ticks away and clues as to an exit are hunted for. It's a nice bonkers set up that allows this fairly low budget film to shoot basically in all one location and keep attention from the audience by using hilariously offensive jokes and fairly graphic and gory violence.
The first fifteen minutes during the protracted set-up to this, video-game alike, showdown plot, I found genuinely as hilarious as anything I have seen of late and some of the quips, jokes and verbal humour is by far funnier, to me, and just pleasingly weirder than a lot of mainstream comedies, also, Rob Corddry is funnier in this than he has been in almost anything he's done.
That's about it though, once the first fifteen minutes are up and Jeffrey Tambor has been offed the film looses a lot of it's quick paced humour in a dramatic tonal shift and replaces it with out and out killing. Which is great if you find horror/action comedies funny but probably made a lot of people going in, thinking this was some sort of Casino Royale (the comedy film from the 60s) for the 2010s, turn against it and hate it so much (because this is not the best rated or reviewed film the world has ever seen, as I am sure comes as no surprise as it went straight to DVD in the State and you are probably all sitting there going "eh? Operation what?").
I thought, no, I liked the opening, I am sticking with this, going with it and embracing what is, essentially, Laurel and Hardy with gaping head wounds. It does loose steam rapidly though, I am sad to say, as the famous and funny people get killed in favour of two nobodies who are obviously the only two actors that did more than three days on the movie; Not that they are the worst actors or anything, just that the comedy dries up, the whole thing gets confusing, they try and come up with some political, twist wrap up ending that ultimately leaves you not caring and a little disappointed that the level of genius quipping and entertaining bloody fisticuffs you had come to enjoy aren't really sustained throughout.
Also, a devise in which two bickering doormen essentially, with a big screen, who watch and comment on the action unfurling in the bunker beneath them ceases to be funny around about the half way point and a sub plot about Jeffrey Tambor's character's phone sex with an unknown spy is annoyingly distracting, desperately unfunny, ultimately obvious and adds nothing whatsoever to the proceedings.

The shifts in pace, plot and tone are not handled smoothly enough either and with one more comedy punch-up re-write this could've been a horror/action comedy destined to become a cult favourite, which is surely what it looked like on paper but unfortunately, while I would happily show the first few minutes to anyone and say "look how genius this could've been, it's hysterical!" I could not stick it in the pile with Re-Animator or Evil Dead 2.

Still at least these first time trio of two writers and a director tried to write something fairly original with a genuinely edgy sense of absurd humour and did it well enough to lure some likable people into small but watchable roles and I will never complain about that.

6 out of 10 sips of whiskey out of a gun shaped glass

Going The Distance - 4th December 2010

Love and Other Drugs - 27th November 2010