A BAD IDEA GONE WRONG – A Review by Cynthia Flores
You know you’re watching an indie film when there are only three other people seen in the movie with the three lead actors. I don’t count the people that are referred to in the story that only make appearances via photographs. You also know you’re watching an indie movie if there are just three locations for the entire film. Small budget films don’t leave a lot of room for extras like special effects or exotic locales. This one was shot entirely in Fort Worth Texas. Hell most indies are lucky to be able to feed the cast and crew during production. What indie filmmaking does have going for it is its heart and the ability to tell a story without using Hollywood cookie cutter methods. It also gives unknown actors a chance to shine on the big screen if the script is good and the director has the chops to deliver a coherent story. Lucky for us A Bad Idea Gone Wrong is one of the good indie flicks that have both.
The film follows the ill-prepared plans of two best friends, Marlon (Matt Jones) and Leo (Will Rogers), that are a pair of wannabe thieves. They think they can carry out one big job and then get outta town. The house that Leo picks out to rob is in a gated community and supposed to be empty for a week. They think they have all the time in the world to find the valuables and quietly leave. So, imagine their surprise when, after they accidentally trap themselves in the house by arming the home security system, they find out there’s a house sitter asleep in the master bedroom.
I love the inventive way Marlon and Leo choose to hide their identities when they have to wake up the young woman named Darcy (Eleanore Pienta) to duct tape her down. I won’t ever look at saran wrap and aluminum foil the same way again. Once Darcy realizes that the two guys aren’t hardened criminals, she comes clean and lets them know that she’s not the house sitter and does not know the code to the alarm system. She’s actually from the dog taxi service, that's how she also knew the house would be empty. She picked the lock and broke in, not to steal anything but just to hang out in such a fancy house. So now all of them are trapped. Did I forget to mention that the house belongs to Leo’s ex-fiancée who he’s still in love with? Yeah, this just got a whole lot messier.
A Bad Idea Gone Wrong is not a perfect film, but it is really, really good. The chemistry between Leo, Marlon, and Darcy is natural and not forced. The script is funny and smart without being coy or cute. Matt Jones who plays Marlon steals the show with his upbeat glass is half full attitude, his vast knowledge of trivia, and his obsession with a call in radio show that does a crazy quiz challenge each day at 11:11 am and pm.
Watching this film I got the same joy as I did when I watched the 1994 Indie classic Clerks that also revolved around a solid script and good casting. The difference here is a wider audience can watch this movie because there is only one brief nude scene and not a lot of foul language. This is writer/director Jason Headley's feature film debut. He is known for the shorts he created on the Internet… until now that is. I can’t wait to see what he does next. That’s why I give A Bad Idea Gone Wrong a solid B+ rating and hope that it finds its audience like any good indie film should.
Directed by Jason Headley
Written By Jason Headley
Selig Rating B+
Running Time 1hr 25 min
Limited Release Nov 30th Studio Movie Grill – Spring Valley and VOD Dec 1st
Starring: Matt Jones, Will Rogers, Eleanore Pienta
The Selig Rating Scale:
A – Excellent movie, well worth the price.
B – Good movie
C – OK movie
D – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
F – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn't paid for it.