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SXSW 2011 Review: THE FP

Will Schiffelbein

March 23rd, 2011

Rating: 1/5

Writers: Jason Trost (story and screenplay), Brandon Trost (screenplay)
Directors: Jason Trost, Brandon Trost
Cast: Jason Trost, Lee Valmassy, Art Hsu

One of the most interesting aspects of attending a festival, such as SXSW, is the gamble you're taking with each film. Most of the time, you're not entirely sure what you're walking in to, which can be either a curse or a blessing. In the case of THE FP, I hadn't seen a trailer or a still from the film. The only thing I'd heard about the film was endless praise from people I trust about how inventive and funny it was.

Instead of walking out pleasantly surprised, I left the screening feeling as though my these filmmakers hadn't just wasted my time, but that they'd murdered my family, hung my cat, and told me that my favorite band had broken up. THE FP isn't just a bad film, it's an insult to independent cinema and all the other great movies which played at SXSW this year.

The film, a project from the minds from the Trost brothers, has a relatively simple and potentially funny premise: two gangs fight for control over a trailer-park town using a Dance Dance Revolution style game as their battlefield. In reality, the film is a spoof of Jerry Bruckheimer style films where a prodigal son leaves a dangerous life for greener pastures but is sucked back in by obligation, loyalty, and a pretty girl. Again, the recipe is there - the architecture of the film leads me to believe that the film could be decent. Sadly, it isn't.

The film ends up being one of the most offensively stupid films I've ever seen, leading me to compare it to the spoof films of the last few years - MEET THE SPARTANS, DANCE FLICK, and now, THE FP. The characters spout out racial epithets in attempt to be funny and parody black street culture, but instead end up being racist characters in a racist film that doesn't understand how unfunny it is to translate the "n-word" into an absurd acronym.

The fact that the film is just relentlessly stupid doesn't even begin to explore the depths of the film's flaws. The performances are played with a straight face, which is somewhat of an accomplishment considering how absurd the story is. The film is about an hour too long, which isn't great, considering it's only about 85 minutes in length. The concept would have worked well as a short film (which it was, back in 2007), but doesn't have the legs to support a feature-length film no matter how much Four Loko it chugs.

Movies like this, ones that roll around in mediocrity like Charlie Sheen in a pile of cocaine, don't deserve a lick of praise. To make an exception for this sorry excuse of a film invalidates all the great films out there at SXSW, and trust me, there are plenty of them. Ultimately, THE FP isn't anything more than an overlong, absurdly stupid, racist inside joke that the audience just isn't in on.

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  • http://www.twitter.com/chasewhale Chase Whale

    I could not have said it better.

  • Faux_hawk

    However, Blogs that use Charlie Sheen / Piles of Cocaine references are witty, edgy and hi-larious.
    Good Work.

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