Arizona, the new black comedy From Director
Arizona played at this year’s Fantasia International Film Festival. This is a film well-suited to this festival as it’s not your typical American comedy. Unfortunately, we were unable to obtain a screener at that time but we soon got one sent to us when one became available.
There were a few things that attracted me to Arizona. The main selling point for me is , well, it is unusual and it is pretty god damn dark. It’s a little different than the films we are used to seeing star Danny McBride and Co. Another promising aspect of this film was that it was written by Luke Del Tredici. I am not a huge fan of American sitcoms but there are a few that touch on brilliance. The scriptwriter for Arizona is the man responsible for writing some episodes of multi-awards winning shows’ like Thirty Rock and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Although both of those shows are far from my favourite American comedies, as I said, they both have moments of genuine hilarity and brilliance.
Arizona is set in …well you guessed it, Arizona. The year is 2009 and the good ole USA is suffering from a devastating housing crisis
The movie opens with our main character, Cassie. She works as realtor and we get the feeling this job ain’t the easiest. She’s in the process of showing a couple a house available in her area. We can feel her desperation as she pulls-out every trick in the book trying her hardest to make that sale. This is put to a stop when she hear’s the screaming of one near-by neighbors. The screaming was coming from a distressed woman, she is having great difficulty trying to support the weight of her her husband who has just tied a noose around his neck and tried to take his own life. Why did he do that? who was he? and what relevance did he have to the story about to begin?: None. Apart from us getting the idea that the reasoning behind this attempted suicide was the crippling housing crisis.
This is when we meet, nut-ball-sack, Sonny (Danny McBride). A man who is close to the edge and showing worrying signs of a severe mental breakdown. He decides to confront Cassie’s boss (Seth Rogen) about the house he bought that is now listed for forecloser. A couple of idiotic mistakes leaves Sonny with no choice but to kidnap a hostage until he can come up with a better plan. We all know that there is no such thing as a “better plan” when it comes to these kind of movies. Over the course of the movie we watch the death toll rise as Sonny makes one idiotic mistake after another.
I really enjoyed this. I loved how dark and unpredictable it was. It wasn’t the most realistic of movies but if you can replace realism with escapism then you will find a lot to enjoy about Arizona. I had read a lot of reviews stating that the film has a lot of pointless violence in it, what is the problem with that?. One of the key selling points of this movie is how quickly the violence escalates into a lot of murderous, messy, mayhem. I thought McBride suited the role, his character is psychopathic but also at the same time, apologetic which makes for some laugh-out-loud comedy.
As well as Danny McBride and Rosemarie DeWitt, Arizona also stars Kaitlin Olsen, Luke Wilson, Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Gillies.
7/10 Words By Gary Gamble Founder/Owner @ Moviehooker