Sunday, November 16, 2008

Shut Up and Shoot Me: Grade B

B
Shut Up and Shoot Me (2008)
Karel Roden, Andy Nyman, Anna Geislerov√°. Writer-Director Steen Agro. (U.K. and Czech Republic, in English).

An English couple are tourists in Prague when the wife is killed in an accident. The husband (Nyman) decides he cannot live without her so hires his Czech driver (Roden) to kill him. But the scheme goes wrong, not once, multiple times. One is reminded of a Roadrunner cartoon as sillier and sillier situations unfold. What makes the story funny is the deadpan tone in which the lines are delivered in absurd situations. Nyman offers to pay for his execution with his credit card. The driver is outraged. “If this card is empty, I’ll kill you!” “Yes, that will be fine.” One misadventure leads to another even more improbable, until the whole movie just stops when the time is up.

The dialog is funny and the lines are well delivered, but no serious relationships develop among the characters. The story is not realistic, but not fantastic either; just plausible enough to make the deadpan humor work. For example, my wife cringed when a bad guy shot a woman’s shopping bags full of Prada, Ferragamo, and other high end goods. Seeing Prague in winter was enjoyable. Camera work was noticeably good, both with the outdoor scenery and in tight indoor shots. This is a lightweight, mindless comedy for adults, but a cut above average.

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