(director/writer: Sebastian Silva; cinematographer: Alexis Zabe; editors: Sofia Subercaseaux, Jennifer Lame; cast: Jason Mitchell (Tyler), Christopher Abbott (Johnny), Michael Cera (Alan), Caleb Landry Jones (Pete), Ann Dowd (local white woman), Michael Zegen (Eli), Phillip Ettinger (Charles), Roddy Bottum (Dylan), Nicolas Arze (Nico); Runtime: 86; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Max Born, Sebastian Silva, Jacob Wasserman, Gigi Graff, Carlos Zozaya; Magnolia Pictures; 2018)
“Forgettable and underdeveloped.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Chilean writer-director Sebastian Silva (“Fistful of Dirt”/”Nasty Baby”) gives us a disturbing look at race relations, in a “Get Out” type of film without the horror. The easy-going African-American Tyler (Jason Mitchell) joins a white friend, Johnny (Christopher Abbott), on a winter weekend trip to the Catskills for a heavy drinking birthday party with a bunch of Johnny’s twentysomething white guy friends (there’s also one older gay guy) Tyler doesn’t know. The title is derived when one of the guests calls Tyler by the name of Tyrel. Tyler feels out of place in this setting, even if it’s a pro-Obama crowd and the time period is the week-end of President Trump’s inauguration. He becomes increasingly more alienated and gets drunk to escape his lousy feeling about the party, as the drinking and macho behavior becomes real loud and ugly. If you are waiting for a resolution, there is none–just a bunch of annoying boisterous activity like the guys singing R.E.M. songs and making hot toddies. It turns out to be an uncomfortable watch, a film in need of a narrative. Making people uneasy about relating to each other over race (supposedly inferring unease about Trump as president) was not enough justification for this forgettable and underdeveloped film.
REVIEWED ON 11/17/2018 GRADE: C https://dennisschwartzreviews.com/