When reviewing a film like Wet and Reckless there is a certain perspective one must align with. This is an ultra-low budget comedy costing a mere $10,000 to produce with an undersized cast and crew which is surprisingly much smaller than even lower budgeted sets I've heard of or worked on myself. For these facts alone, Wet and Reckless is highly impressive as far as grassroots film making goes.
Written, directed, produced and starred in by Jason Trost, co-creator of the
wickedly unique, and yet illegitimately misunderstood, The FP, and the dark,
straight-faced comic book homage, All Superheroes Must Die, Trost continues
evolving as an inspiring budget film maker when tackling a more
straightforward, but still distinctive comedy, Wet and Reckless. Again, Trost
and Co. deliver something deceptively simple at first glance, but evolves into
a delightfully fresh story after an initially slow start.
Wet and Reckless tries to establish a strong footing for its cast to better support
the character arcs later on. However, it overstayed its welcome as not a whole
lot happens except exhausting party montages which show us almost nothing and
are almost vacant for laughs. The initial delivery of the premise, however, is
an intriguing device, though at odds with characters that I'm not sure are
supposed to be as massively unlikable as they are. Surely, they're not meant to
be morally praiseworthy, of course, but I found them to be more a nuisance than
the lovable idiots that I think was intended.
Considering how events unfold, though, my feelings became more positive.
There are sections in the film that I found my mind wandering off. Wet and
Reckless comes off more like dumb fun captured on film by friends rather than a
focused effort to create a particularly exciting misfit adventure. In fact, I
got the impression that a great percentage of the story flow was pieced
together based on wild improvised performances, which is very respectable in
itself, but in my opinion served to slow the pace and curb the punch lines.
Wet and Reckless is at its best when the cast drop hilariously appropriate nods
to the films I'm sure the crew are big fans of, and most importantly, when the
players are in their natural form and not trying too hard to adhere to their
rigidly narrow character profiles. As tonally inconsistent as this makes the
overall experience, Wet and Reckless still manages to pack in more quotable gags
than most big Hollywood comedies. Regardless of its shortcomings, I was
surprised at how many laugh-out-loud moments it had.
It's very difficult to keep this review entirely spoiler free while also
praising one of the film's most positive qualities -- there is a small, and
near-genius perspective shift that throws the ridiculousness of the plot back
in the audience's face. It's this kind of self-awareness that reminds you that
this is all in good fun and in a way makes a film like this critic proof. So,
uh... what am I doing here?
If you're a fan of The FP and the Trost siblings, there really isn't a reason
why you shouldn't check this out. It doesn't come close to the greatness of The
FP, but it shows a film maker who won't let himself get too comfortable and
will probably always be willing to try new things and grow. By its close, I
actually liked the characters, although to some it might be too little too
late. Again, tonal inconsistencies aside, there were some endearing moments
between the characters, even if it didn't feel as if the scenes necessarily
belonged there. Yes, the story dips into some slow, under cooked comedy, but Wet
and Reckless still clothes lined me with several belly laughs from beginning to
the very end. It made me laugh and that's all that matters.
Wet and Reckless is available at: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/wetandreckless
-Review by J.G. Barnes
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