Sean Kenealy, Eric Silvera
Sean Kenealy, Eric Silvera
On more than a few occasions during this film, I was definitely laughing my grundle off. Perhaps my usage of the word "grundle" isn't quite correct - but close enough... if you know what I mean. If by chance you don't know what a grundle is, that's one more reason why you should check out "In Action" from writers, directors, Sean Kenealy and Eric Silvera. Be warned however, a healthy appetite for bathroom humor will greatly enhance your love of this film and if you're stone-cold against such comedy, you should probably steer clear.
In a reasonably spoiler-free nutshell, "In Action" centers on two estranged friends who reconnect, in order to write the perfect screenplay for an action film. After an incident, while pitching an idea many years prior, the friends separated themselves and went on to live more adult lives. Between work or being a stay-at-home parent, there's simply not a lot of time left to pursue a writer's career. But during the wedding of a common frienemy, the two reconnect and agree to pick up where they left off. The ideas flow and during an in-person meetup, the two eventually find themselves tied to chairs in a dark room. Kidnapped, the two begin their own real life adventure - and the rest becomes "In Action" history. Still on the fence? Essentially, Kenealy and Silvera have used the idea of unsuccessful, aspiring writers and their adventure, to give the audience a buddy comedy. And it works well, especially considering how they did it. "In Action" really delivers the goods and especially if you're into toilet humor, you'll get a kick out of this film... for the most part. Would I recommend it? Hell yes! To friends and enemies alike.
So, let me be blunt. The only real concern I had while watching this film is that by the end, it did feel a little long. I understand the desire to hit a certain length but sometimes, that hour mark - or somewhere around it, can be perfect. In the case of "In Action" the reasons why I think it feels a little long, are also the reasons why I think this is such a good movie. Essentially, and maybe even totally, this flick consists of two actors. That's it, that's all. Two guys, Sean and Eric, teaming up to make a full length "action" movie featuring only themselves. It sounds too crazy to work, and yet they pull it off. Want to hear what's even crazier? Not only do we have said film with only two actors, but for a good chunk of the movie, especially during the action scenes, they actually narrate what's happening. I find it really difficult to explain how they do it, but they do... and it totally works. This fact alone should make you want to see this, if for nothing else, to satisfy your curiosity.
And yet it's this very cool way to do things that also eventually wear at you. When you realize what's actually happening behind the lens you think, "Oh man, that's cool" but by the end, the novelty has worn off. And this "wearing off" period for me, only occurred during the last few minutes of the movie - so I'm guessing that a ten or so minute shave to the film would have stopped that from happening.
With all that said, what really keeps this film entertaining is the banter between these two friends. It's natural, sometimes juvenile, and completely entertaining. I'll go out on a limb and say these guys are good friends in real life and if they aren't, they sure fooled me. "In Action" is so clever in the way it presents itself, and technically speaking - should be nowhere near as amusing as it is. Yet it is. The cards just fell into the right places at the right times. I'm by no means writing that Silvera and Kenealy didn't work their asses off to make the film seem as natural as it is. But sometimes it takes a little magic - and there's definitely some hocus-pocus going on here.
What's left to write? "In Action" was refreshingly good, devilishly funny, and creative to boot. What's not to like? Had it been a pinch leaner in the edit, I suspect I would have awarded an extra half star. Even still, this film blew average out of the ballpark in my opinion - and I don't think I'm the only one this movie will impress. Three and a half stars.