Sunday, 9 December 2018

Best F(r)iends Vol. 2 (2018) - Movie Review, we’ve already gone over the first half of this film. The weirdness of seeing actors from a legendary piece of Z-grade cinema in a production with a real budget behind it has had some time to sink in. How does the second half compare to the first?

Well, for a start, this is very much a Kill Bill situation, as not only does Vol. 2 have a distinct feel to it separate from the first, it even looks reasonably like Kill Bill Vol. 2 since a lot of the story takes place in a Western desert setting. All of the production boosts from before are still in effect, from the visual stock to the frequently surreal imagery to the surprisingly solid soundtrack. However, unlike Kill Bill, this film honestly works even better all on its own, since this ends up having some of the best components of either half.

Since Wiseau has a reduced role this time around, that gives the other actors a chance to make their own mark, and they certainly deliver on that. Rick Edwards as Uncle Rick, who is basically Al Bundy as played by Clint Eastwood, gives a performance where it’s difficult to tell whether it’s his delivery or just his dialogue that is making things awkward. Between Sestero’s writing and Rick’s own adlibs, he makes for the kind of character that could easily rival that of Wiseau’s Harvey. And the weirdest part about that idea is that even Rick’s stranger moments actually make sense in the film’s complete context.

Add to that George Killingsworth as safecracker Dr. Seager, who gives a nice look into an alternate reality where Bruce Dern entirely stopped giving a fuck, and Scott Kenyon Barker as a shoulder-sweater-wearing B&B owner and his gloriously out-of-context adlibbing right at the end of his scene, and this film definitely has memorability to it. Hell, it honestly has more going for it in terms of sheer actor bizarreness than Vol. 1.

And we haven’t even gotten to the best of it yet; that comes with how this film, with both parts put together, actually feels like a sister feature to The Room. Both contain a lot of fixation on who is whose friend in the dialogue, as well as plenty of betrayals and deception along those lines. However, in this instance, it actually manages to stick because Justin MacGregor and Farhan Umedaly give those ideas the imagery to make them stick. Aside from the quite trippy sequences that wraparound the main plot of this half specifically, there’s also Wiseau’s moment to shine during the final act. It still involves Knights Templar imagery to get it across, but considering Sestero wrote this film as a vehicle for his partner in cult filmmaking, it ends up working in its own strange way.

I think I just summed up this whole movie, both halves, right there: It works in its own strange way. The acting and writing can get awkward in a few places, but it hits that sweet spot where you can enjoy the moments where everything is actually working within the production, as well as having a cheap laugh at the quirkier aspects.

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