Reviews: Nobody Can Cool

This one has been sitting in the backlog for a while. Check out our review of Nobody Can Cool.

Vacationing couple Susan (Catherine Annette) and David (David Atlas) venture out into the California mountains and settle for the night in a desolate cabin to collect themselves.  Their peaceful getaway quickly turns into a nightmare when they inadvertently stumble upon a criminal couple, Len (Nick Principe) and pregnant Gigi (Nikki Bohm) in the middle of a heist gone awry, forming hard-boiled noir backdrop of Nobody Can Cool.  At first it seems like a cut-and-dried hostage scenario, but soon the plot thickens as every character purports an ulterior motive and no one can really be trusted.  As the age old saying goes, no one gets away clean. 

"Hahahahahaha. We love drugs."

Working under the pseudonym Dpyx, female writing-producing-directing team Marcy Boyle and Rachel Holzman’s low budget thriller at first seems like another amateurish kidnapping plot.  Soon however, Nobody Can Cool quickly develops into an ensemble classic holdup with many guns pointed in all directions, echoing the likes of such classics as The Petrified Forest with a dash of Kalifornia thrown in.  Not all of it works as the characters occasionally make inexplicable decisions most people would laugh at, including a bizarre interlude where Susan shares a laugh and drink with Len as she holds a gun to his head.  In any rational situation, letting one’s guard down with alcohol and the proximity with which the characters are to each other simply comes off as implausible.  That aside, the acting is good, with Nick Principe turning over the strongest performance as a bald and tattooed thug with more of a heart than his appearance suggests. 

Technical limitations undeniably stick out like a sore thumb, with rampant digital blood, digital tinting of day towards night, and a shoddy title sequence that looks to be assembled via Adobe Photoshop.  Using little more than the vastness of the cabin’s remote location and claustrophobic interiors, Nobody Can Cool relies less on production value than the characters’ mutual fight for survival and fulfilling their own individual agendas.  Something of a sophomore effort from the newly formed filmmaking team, the overall cheap direct-to-video feel of the piece will likely make most quit while there ahead.  Though a bit talky at times, for a first time effort Nobody Can Cool is a decent little thriller with startling moments of violence and numerous surprises that make it all worthwhile in the end.  You could do far worse than many of the larger mainstream noirs with guns drawn have.

-Andrew Kotwicki