28 Minute Epic
28 Minute Epic 2015
As I am nearing the end of the year I wanted to have a repeat of last year where I was able to watch every superhero and comic book movie that had come out aside from a couple foreign movies that I didn’t find out about until later. I had heard about this movie just a couple months back when they were spreading the word on Twitter, especially since it is currently free to watch on their website 28MinuteEpic.com and I watched the trailer which looked like another attempt to be a “real life” superhero version of Clerks. But nonetheless I gave it a shot, and during the opening it felt even more like what I thought it was going to be, but about thirty minutes in, it took a left turn and just kept going from there. There’s still plenty of seams showing through their tight budget and some annoying bits of humor, but once it finally dug in I really enjoyed where it took me.
The first and foremost thing about this movie which can be a deal breaker for a lot of people is that one of the main characters is the overweight manchild. Jim is very much the Randall type character mixed with many of the best friend types in a myriad of quirky/gross out romantic comedies like Good Luck Chuck or Burying the Ex. On one hand, Rocco Petrullo does an admirable job playing the character and his superhero the Masked Avenger (who’s still working on getting a mask), but on the other hand he can be insufferable to watch for long periods of time. Meanwhile Patrick Lithgow plays the Dante in the bromance as the long-suffering Dave. The straightlaced butt of Jim’s jokes who ends up being the sidekick Spanky dressed in hot pink, furry legwarmers and a shirt that says I heart (picture of a penis).
If the entire movie was jokes of that caliber then it would wear thin pretty quickly, but things do go a little bit sideways once the two would be heroes unwittingly join forces with the Dark Rider wearing a Batman mask without the ears and a red stripe painted over one eye. At first, he seems like another one of the “real life” superheroes like the ones that they met in an awkward cosplay-like meeting. But things soon turn South as he gets them to help him rob his ex-wife’s house, steals their car, beats his cocaine dealer nearly to death, and that’s only the half of it. This is where the movie really starts getting interesting as it turns into the day from hell where anything and everything can, and does go wrong.
The one part of the film that is difficult to get past is the friendship between the two main characters. They are supposedly friends since age 10, are currently roommates, coworkers, and spend nearly all of their spare time together, but based on how they act in this film it’s difficult to understand why they haven’t gone their separate ways ages ago. There seems to be absolutely nothing beneficial from their friendship from Dave’s point of view besides the weed, and Jim costs him pretty much everything. It’s not outside the realm of possibility that these types of friendships actually exist, but it would have been nice to actually see them get along at some point during the film.
As far as the look of the film goes, it opens with a disclaimer of sorts explaining how this film was made on a budget of $4,100. It’s a little odd to see that sort of information put out there like that, as if the filmmaker had to make excuses for something that was lacking within the film itself. But aside from some very pixelated background replacement during the driving scenes, and some noticeable-but-well-done art overlays in the porn shop, the lack of a budget was a non-issue. The acting from the main characters works, and one of the best moments was when the big fight scene turned into this bizarre, homegrown music video. And speaking of the music, the soundtrack was also a lot of fun with an indie rock feel to it that occasionally overtly comments on the film itself in the best way possible.
28 Minute Epic is a bit of a misnomer. It’s not 28 minutes long, the 28 minutes is a play on the 15 minutes of fame that works well. It’s not exactly epic, though it does come as close as the budget would allow. But 28 Minute Epic is a ride through the real life superhero movement that goes in a lot of directions you wouldn’t expect. It goes pretty dark towards the end of the film, but it never loses its sense of humor. Jim and Dave may occasionally feel like characters that you’ve seen before who learn a lesson that’s been told before, but the way they get there is something else entirely. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.