Movie Review - Buzzard

Written, directed, edited and co-starring Joel Potrykus, this movie is an endurance test for spending a hour-and-a-half with an awful and highly unappealing character, as well as a stupid one. It's not to say that films about these kinds of characters shouldn't be made, but the risk is that it won't be engaging or even much fun. Potrykus is probably aware of people like his protagonist here and felt compelled to bring that to the big screen, if only to make audiences aware, or to convey what has been a clear effect or what is a clear state of the American Midwest, in terms of socioeconomic issues.

The problem is that I'm not quite sure of the time period. It doesn't seem like the movie is set in the present-day or any time past 2010. Based on the use of music CDs and various video game technology, it's unlikely set in any time past 2000. Therefore, it might be the case that Potrykus' vision of the Midwest, specifically Detroit, Michigan, and surrounding areas, is such that the decade doesn't matter. Problems have existed since Michael Moore's Roger & Me (1989), so the exact time period is probably of little concern.

Joshua Burge stars as Marty Jackitansky, a guy who might be in his late twenties or early thirties. He works as a temp at a bank called First Federal Mortgage. He always shows up late. He takes long lunches and breaks. He doesn't care about the job at all. He lazily coasts through it. Meanwhile, he does all that he can, which isn't much, but he does all that he wants to scam the company for free money.

He'll steal office supplies from his job and return them to an office store to get cash back. He takes advantage of promotional offers at his own bank but to ridiculous and blatant ways. He goes a little overboard when he comes up with a plot to steal checks from bank customers that have gone unclaimed and then cash them to himself.

This is where the stupidity starts. For him to think that he can just get away with this, even if he's living in a time period 20 years ago, pre-Internet era, makes him stupid or suffering from extreme laziness. Yes, I'm sure people like him exist, but watching stupid or lazy people do stupid or lazy things can become boring. I was never interested in Jim Carrey in Dumb & Dumber. Some might be able to see the comedy or the apparent dark humor and what Potrykus goes for, but I didn't.

A stab at a joke comes half-way through when Marty is himself cheated by a convenience store clerk. Potrykus' other stabs at comedy like with a literal callback to Freddy Krueger fall rather flat. We never truly understand what Marty's thinking is. He just seems to be surviving day-to-day with no real purpose.

One Star out of Five.
Not Rated but contains language and some gore.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 37 mins.


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