Redneck humor is alive and not so well in Skiptracers. In his Alabama-set comedy, director Harris Mendheim takes scattershot aim at the mullet and ‘stache set and what his film lacks in yuks (which is just about everything) it attempts to make up for in manic energy. Following a pair of brothers who track down bail-skipping criminals for their bondsman father, the film proceeds more by set piece and comic aside than narrative, moving to the rhythm of its own frenzied logic. Working itself into a dither, Skiptracers abounds in loony bits of business (as when father and son inundate their office with crickets before turning it over to a competitor) and gross-out stories (you don’t even want to know why one character is nicknamed “Oatmeal”), which Mendheim puts forth with admirable gusto but which even the filmmakers don’t seem to find very funny. The movie’s approach to characterization is equally odd, starting with a series of simple-minded redneck caricatures (an officious, self-righteous preacher, a sleazy rival bondsman) and then upping the spazoid quotient until these figures become sheer masses of spastic energy, a gallery of grotesques played too broadly to elicit much more than bemused grins. After all an unfocused, overexcited sensibility rarely leads to comedy gold and if your sense of humor isn’t wide enough to encompass a town called Diklicker, Texas, a jail guard who looks like a good ol’ boy but affects an effete Shakespearean speaking voice and, that old standby, a man getting shot in the dick, you’re more likely to feel exhausted than amused by Mendheim’s comic smorgasboard. Unless, of course, you simply like to laugh at hicks. Then you’re all set.
- Zipline Entertainment
- 110 min
- Harris Mendheim
- Harris Mendheim, Brian J. Saliba, Andy Stuckey
- Porter Harris, Dustin Kerns, Daniel Burnley, Eddie Farnham, Peter Gantenbein, Gary Klotzman, Andy Stuckey, Michael H. Cole, Rich Muscadin, Montgomery Maguire, Katherine Knight
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