Thursday, November 30, 2017

A Bad Idea Gone Wrong: A Low Calorie Caper

Marlon and Leo are just brimming with resentment for the one-percenters, because they want to be part of them. At least they are more honest than most people who use that term. They are going to steal from them outright. Of course, their breaking-and-entering escapades will take on several unforeseen complications in Jason Headley’s A Bad Idea Gone Wrong (trailer here), which opens today and tomorrow in select cities.

Marlon has a stupid fantasy of pulling a stick-up job, like the diner scene in Pulp Fiction, but Leo has the fractionally less stupid idea of burglarizing a house in a gated community. He knows the couple will be out of town, because she is his ex-fiancée, whom he has been cyber-stalking. Leo tries to keep those awkward facts to himself, but they will come out soon enough.

Frankly, Marlon has a somewhat clever method for getting into the gated development, but he reverts to form when he inadvertently arms the security alarm. Suddenly, they are trapped inside the house, at least until they can figure out the code. Perhaps the house-sitter they are completely surprised to find dozing in the master bedroom can help.

Bad Idea is small in scope, but rather funny, albeit in a modest way. As Marlon and Leo, Matt Jones and Will Rogers bicker and banter with easy, credible rapport. However, Eleanore Pienta scores most of the biggest laughs as Darcy, the house-sitter with a quickly revealed secret. It is hard to resist laughing when she is giving those two sad sacks what-for.

This is an enjoyable film in the moment, but absolutely nothing about it sticks in a viewer’s subconscious. It barely stretches to eighty-five minutes, including the end credits, yet it still feels padded. Still, if you want a pleasant film that leaves absolutely no baggage behind, this would be it. It was actually a Jury Award winner at SXSW, which just goes to show the Austin-based fest is no Sundance.

This year, probably no film will be damned with more faint praise than A Bad Idea Gone Wrong. Still, we’d rather re-watch it a dozen times than sit through ten minutes of the Tom Cruise-monstrosity The Mummy again. Recommended as the light weight fare it is, A Bad Idea Gone Wrong opens today (11/30) in Chicago at the Studio Movie Grill and several other cities (including Fort Collins, CO) tonight and tomorrow.