COMIC DRAMA; 1hr 36min
STARRING: Matt Lucas, James Caan, Johnny Knoxville, Billy Crystal, Rebel Wilson
Going places: Lucas (left) and Dolph Lundgren
As if the planet needed further proof that anyone with a budget and a pulse can make a movie about anything, along come Franklin Franklin (Bridesmaids ’ Lucas). Franklin isn’t your typical hero — he’s tubby and boiled-egg bald with big, white underpants as outerwear, a collection of iffy wigs and a ginormous alpenhorn. Since his brother Bernard (James Marsden) went nuts, Franklin lives alone in a squalid LA complex of, yep, small apartments (Caan is his neighbour on one side, Knoxville and squeeze Wilson on the other). Then there’s the body of Franklin’s landlord (Peter Stormare), in whose demise he’s critically mixed up, much to the interest of jaded fire investigator Burt Walnut (Crystal).
Can Franklin live his dream of escaping to Switzerland? Stranger things have happened, although not many. Absurdism is a tricky soufflé and the words “limited appeal” do leap to mind. But that’s not half bad: working from Chris Millis’s screenplay of his book, director Jonas Åkerlund is equally in tune with the faces of pathos and their life-affirming flipside of farce.