SXSW ’11: The FP – Review


Obnoxiously awesome film will divide audiences

Imagine, for a moment, that Dance Dance Revolution was released in the ‘80s as an NES game — the kind with 8-bit, brightly colored pixilated punks engaging on side quest-filled adventures that are only just slightly marred by cheesy dialogue and even cheesier storylines. Now imagine that this game was adapted into a major motion picture and was played completely straight — similar to the way that the brightly colored world of Super Mario Brothers was drenched in grit and released as 1993’s Super Mario Bros: The Movie. Well, there’s no need to imagine — the movie exists and it’s an absolute blast.

The FP is a completely straight-faced parody of a mess of different ideas. Everything from video game adaptations, post apocalyptic futures, inner city gangs and feel-good underdog films such as Rocky are taken aim at. This scattershot satire hits many different targets — some more effectively than others. The result is a foul-mouthed, sometimes obnoxious and more often than not completely enthralling.

Jason Trost stars in and co-directs with his brother Brandon Trost the kinetic action comedy about inner-city youth who battle for the dominance of their hometown by engaging in high-risk games of Beat-Beat Revolution, a fictional stand-in for the popular dancing video game Dance Dance Revolutions.

As JTRO, Trost is your archetypal ‘80s action hero — complete with flowing locks, a red bandana wrapped around his head and a badass Snake Plissken-esque eye patch. After slinking into self-imposed exile following the death of his brother in a Beat-Beat Revolution-involved incident, JTRO is recruited by his old street gang to ride back into town and put a stop to the tyrannical reign of L Dubba E, a Mohawk-sporting, gold grill-wearing hooligan who has control of the city in his meaty palm.

Before JTRO can challenge L Dubba E, though, he must train — and The FP takes every opportunity it has to pay tribute to the pop synthesizer music-fueled montages of ‘80s action films.

Like a brass knuckle to the face, The FP asserts its obnoxiousness through loud, boisterous performances, a kinetic attitude to its camera movements and a shit load of terrible fashion choices.

The FP is a movie for those audiences who enjoy their films served up with a slice of ridiculousness and a whole heaping of “fuck-you” on the side. From the basic premise — Mohawk-sporting, moonboot-wearing glotards posturing against the winds of progress and beating their chests while they hop around on a video game dance pad to the low-budget, grimy feel to the film’s aesthetic, there’s a lot going on in The FP that will alienate most of the hapless everymen who happen to come across the film’s unbridled ridiculousness.

The movie almost dares audiences to take it seriously — doing everything in its power to convince audiences that what they are watching is some lost home video treasure that was time traveled to the present from the future society prophesized in Mike Judge’s cautionary tale of stupidity gone unchecked, Idiocracy.

The movie thankfully never takes itself too, too seriously — every now and then offering audiences a knowing wink and dropping the smoke screen around its exaggerated stupidity to let them know that it’s all one big, happy joke.

Even though The FP is about complete and utter idiots, you don’t have to be an idiot to enjoy the film. It might help, though. The FP requires you to safely check your mind at the door and just go with the ride. The film is the kind of brilliance that at first glance appears to be god-awful but upon closer inspection stands revealed to be the kind of god awful that goes down perfectly with a large pizza and a twelve pack of beers.

Directors: Brandon and Jason Trost
Notable Cast: Jason Trost, Lee Valmassy, Art Hsu, Caitlyn Folley, Nick Pincipe, Brandon Barrera and James DeBello
Writer(s): Jason Trost

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