(director/writer: David Kronmiller; screenwriter: Jennifer Emily McLean; cinematographer: Robert J. MacColl; editor: David Kronmiller; music: Jeremy Olsen; cast: J. Anthony McCarthy (Boris Ivanov), Faran Tahir (Sammi Reddi), Molly Hagan (Dani), Pete Gardner (Larry), T.J. Storm (Wallace), Kavi Ladnier (Maya), Kurt Caceres (Rafael), Marc Goldsmith (Duckwall), Andy Forest (Dr. Jones), Wes Robertson (Taylor), Kurtis Bedford (Dr. Baker), Parisa Fakhri (Francis), Jerry Rocha (Self), Nick Cobb (Self), Leela Ladnier (Lilly), Jason Young (Kale), Steve Sabo (Jimmy); Runtime: 118; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Kavi Ladnier/Michael Proctor/Robert J. MacColl/Travis Robertson/J. Anthony McCarthy; Indie Rights Movies; 2019)

It passes the “giggle test” as the kind of comedy- lite film that’s safe to watch during a worldwide pandemic.

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Director David Kronmiller, in his debut feature, teams up with his wife Jennifer Emily McLean to co-write this low-budget (got started through a $10,000 Kickstarter campaign) goofy action comedy/spy thriller. It’s based on the Television Show Homeland or 24, where the hero is supposedly inept and past his prime. The explicit title tells us immediately what the plot is.

It’s about this Russian dude named Boris (J. Anthony McCarthy), who might appear like a bad guy (which he was at one time) but now is actually a good guy. He’s a washed up KGB agent, who has defected to the United States, and is in Los Angeles. While in the back seat of an Uber, with his trusted driver Jimmy (Steve Sabo), the only person in the world he trusts, he has a nuclear bomb he has to dismantle in 48 hours or else.

Meanwhile after the bomb is Wallace (T.J. Storm), the leader of the Mafia outfit called The Group. He is aided by Rafael (Kurt Caceres), who is associated with Maya (Kavi Ladnier). She looks like Boris’s secret daughter from a lover, someone who had previous contact with Boris that proves vital to the story. We learn that 30 years ago KGB agent Boris was ordered to set off a nuclear bomb in London. But he couldn’t because he was in love with his best friend’s wife, and by not carrying out the dastardly act he spared his lover and her young daughter, Maya. Who would know but the screenwriter that the baby would be this same Maya. Anyway, instead of detonating the Bomb, Boris kills his best friend, Sammi Reddi (Faran Tahir), and runs away with the Bomb. We’re supposed to believe he has for 30 years hidden it from everyone, including The Group, the KGB and C.I.A.

Coming after him now are The Group and the American government agents, the former married couple and former compatriots of Boris’s, the double-crossers, Emily (Sarah Barton) and Kale (Jason Young). Their mission is authorized by Congress to get the Bomb from Boris.

With an appropriate tingling spy thriller score, actors seemingly having fun with the silly story and enough serious action to take your mind off the story’s loose ends, it passes the “giggle test” as the kind of comedy-lite film that’s safe to watch during a worldwide pandemic.

      Anthony, Kurtis Bedford, Kurt Caceres, Andy Forrest, Pete Gardner,
      Molly Hagan, Peter Marr, Kavi Ladnier, T.J. Storm, Faran Tahir,
      Marc Goldsmith, J. Anthony McCarthy, Parisa Fakhri, Sarah Barton,
      Scott Donovan, Grace Asakura, Steve Sabo, Jennifer Emily McLean,
      Michael Proctor, Dante Fernandez, T'Challa Dion Jackson, Jason
      Young, Rene Michelle Aranda, Amy Oakes, and Leela Ladnier in Boris
      and the Bomb (2019)