Ever since he was a child Frankie (Charlie Hunnam) has been filmed by Bruce (Chris O’Dowd), usually when Frankie is at his worst; like the time that he found out his partner had cheated with on him, on their wedding day, and he punched and threw up on her. Frankie has a hard enough time staying out of trouble, without Bruce filming and uploading stuff on the Internet. So when a night of passion with Lassie (Lizzy Caplin), or rather lack of passion when Frankie fails to “rise to the occasion”, is filmed by Bruce, Frankie must struggle against the clock to prevent the video from becoming the next social media video phenomenon.
3,2,1… Frankie Go Boom starts out like many American comedy movies in a fairly bland manner, but suddenly and without warning it takes itself up a notch. This is a movie that is in no interest to protect itself and appeal to an entire audience in order to get seen by the highest revenue. This is a movie that struggles to be as offensive as it possibly can, as often as it can. Whether it’s the subject of impotence, a pig that’s eaten semen filled condoms, or a transvestite (played by Ron Perlman) showing off his Brazilian. While it’s offensive, this is not a bad thing, and while it’s not new terrain, it’s certainly a fairly rare place to be in the current recession filled American cinema.
Writer/Director Jordan Roberts does a remarkably good job of pacing the movie well, delivering a regular interval of laughs and drama, saving the key laugh out loud hysterical moment for the very centre of the movie, a scene that features the aforementioned pig, comes completely from out of the blue, and is the highlight of the film.
It’s the performers that really make the movie, watching Hunnam, as the man whose life continues to fall apart is a real treat, as is the occasional dream sequences that come from out of the blue. O’Dowd pulls off an American accent rather well, and is fascinatingly annoying.
Filled with utter randomness, the movie staggers around from one extreme scenario to another, which gives it its charm. While not for everyone, it will be for someone, and on a personal note it really worked for me.