Review: The FP
PLOT: Yo chump! Mutha f*ckaz be killin' this here THE mutha f*ckin' FP for real! In a battle for control of Frazier Park, two men duke it out via a popular dance game. Yet when good guy JTRO’s brother for some reason dies playing, J to the T to the RO gives up this world altogether. Will his bud be able to bring him back to save the FP from the hands of L Dubba E who feeds the population with drugs and stuff? Or will this idea run out of steam well before the end credits?
I have to give The Trost Bros. (Brandon and Jason) a little credit. They created a short film back in 2007 about a comically intense battle for Frazier Park. This clash revolves around a competitive dance fight video game called “Beat - Beat Revelation!” - betcha can figure out what they were poking fun at here. With a likeable short, the brothers decided to make this independent flick that is a cross between 8 MILE and STEP UP, with a little ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK visually speaking. While it may not be fine art, at least these two guys put the family to work – quite a few crew members have the last name Trost – and turn this into a feature film. The problem is that this comedy is just not very funny.
The comedic antics of THE FP are played mostly straight, yet there is very little to smile about. When JTRO (Jason Trost) and BTRO (Brandon Barrera) duke it out with their enemy L Dubba E (Lee Valmassy), things get real yo! First off, BTRO dies while playing the game which sucks. This of course leads to JTRO promising to never play “Beat - Beat Revelation” again. Of course, when JTRO’s buddy KCDC (Art Hsu) finds the wreck of a video game player a year after the tragedy, he convinces him that they must win back the FP. Oh yeah, there are some seriously trashy turf wars going on here and it doesn’t look good. It seems that with L Dubba E in charge, nobody is allowed to drink so they turn to drugs. So yeah, things are bad in dis here FP.
Of course JTRO must work his way back to the top and face his fears to once again challenge L Dubba E. From then on out THE FP ignores the important question of, “Where the hell is XTRO?” (if any of you get that reference I salute you) and you have yourself a sports/rap/underdog tribute of sorts. It plays up the clichés of the genre while taking itself seriously (sort of) and then ultimately heads in an obvious direction. Considering this is a spoof, it would have been fine to stay predictable, yet must it have to be so freaking dull?
When it comes to charisma, I was impressed with Jason Trost. He is a likeable guy who must rise up in this cruel apocalyptic looking trailer park sporting a groovy eye patch. He even tries to save a young lady named Stacy (Caitlyn Foley) – this woman makes Courtney Love look like a nun. Yet Trost and Foley have an oddly appealing chemistry that it is an interesting addition to the film. At least they get to play on the 8 MILE sex scene which was fun.
I wish I could have liked THE FP more than I did. It is truly impressive to take such a small idea and bring it to life. The Trost Bros. give the film a little bit of trailer park style which makes for a unique flavor to the film. As far as the story is concerned, this was a clever idea and the way they play up the match may bring a smile to your face, but you’d better hold on to that smile because you keep watching and that smile just might go away real fast.
As mentioned, Jason Trost is actually very good as the hero JTRO. It was also a treat to see CHROMESKULL (Nick Principe) out of make-up and the dude can act, even when he is not slaughtering teens. His is one of the better performances here. A couple other nice surprises include the likable James DeBello (CABIN FEVER) and Clifton Collins Jr. (TRAFFIC, STAR TREK) as some sort of badass with a clown afro. The two actors add a little flair to the proceedings. As far as the rest of the performances, it sometimes felt that Hsu and Valmassy were so over the top that they were starring in a different film than Trost and company. However, they certainly committed to their roles and had fun with them.
THE FP has a moment or two of fun, yet the concept fails to deliver a truly funny feature film - even if it is just over 80 minutes. There is some serious talent in front of and behind the camera and with a better script they might be able to create something funny and unique. THE FP may be unique and it may feature more f-bombs that any film in recent history, but it ain’t all that funny muthaf*ckas!