Funeral Kings Reviews
The two boys, Charlie and Andy take the job as altar boys at their school so they can get out class with every funeral. Then they skip the rest of the day and get into a lot of trouble. It was a fun film.
The directing duo of Kevin McManus and Matthew McManus begin their debut feature with someone else's end: An in progress funeral procession. Family and friends of the newly departed grieve and sadly weep as the now deceased elderly man lays in his casket, wearing his final suit. An older priest is leading the somber occasion, quietly chanting prayers as the man's loved ones tearfully look onward; filled with both sadness and melancholy. Two twelve year old altar boys are assisting the priest with the procession, but their focus isn't on the suitably depressing event, nor the man whose precious life had just been stripped away. Rather, it is on the gigantic hanging breasts of a college aged mourner, leaning down to wipe the tears from her face. For these almost teenagers, funerals, religion, and common decency don't nearly compare to simply staring at boobies. Just from the opening alone, you know exactly what you're getting: The typical teenagers-wanna-get-laid-and-be-cool raunchy comedy, but this time, you know, with kids instead.
There's an almost gimmicky lowest common denominator comedy in watching tweens swear like sailors and act like wannabe college players, and even during the beginning funeral procession, the McManus brothers' script reaches Kevin Smith levels of profanity. Dylan Hartigan, Alex Maizus, and to a lesser extent Charles Odei, are essentially written and played as three younger versions of Jay from Smith's Clerks, with the scene stealing innocent Jordan Puzzo to serve as their reluctant Silent Bob. Together the gang rob movie rental houses for porn, carelessly shoot handguns, try to go to high school parties, blow off class, smoke cigarettes, attempt to get laid, set off illegal fireworks, get back at drug dealers, and help with funerals for the free wine. They're carefree, rebellious, and some of the most unlikable protagonists I've seen in a very long time.
Once the wild antics of the gang eventually get tiresome somewhere around the 30 minute mark, it quickly becomes apparent that there's no real reason for this movie to exist. The characters are sadly unfleshed out and two-dimensional, the script keeps pumping out four letter words until they've completely lost impact, and the plot is flimsy at best. The McManus brothers seem to believe that we enjoy the gimmickry of swearing kids enough that no substance is necessary, but this isn't the case at all. Maybe as a short this philosophy would've worked, but for a feature is fails miserably.
If you believe Nickelodeon or the Disney Channel need to be far edgier, this movie may be for you. It has all the plot of a mediocre sitcom about about tweens, just with a lot more profanity and irritation. In fact, this very select group may be the only possible audience for the film. Simply put: It's not very good. At all.
It's basically a mix of Superbad and Stand By Me. Hell, the last half is reminiscent of Stand by Me while the first half is Superbad. Therein lies the first problem: It doesn't know whether it wants to be a serious coming-of-age film, or a comedic one. That leads to some jarring tonal shifts. One moment, you are laughing. The next, you feel sad. Now, it handles both moments excellently when looked at as individual scenes, but when combined, it really hurts the film. I'm very confused as to what they were going for. Then, there are the constant plot points being dropped. I get it. It's supposed to be gritty and realistic. No one in their right mind would return to a drug dealer's dungeon, but that's the difference between a movie and real life. Movies are meant to be escapism or help us cope with something personal. I'm not sure about other people's lives, but mines did not include a drug dealing dungeon. I would have loved a little closure on that. Then, there's the fact that the plot points that are given closure, aren't satisfying enough. I mean, we only get one line of dialogue as to what happened to something.
The acting was good and I liked the realistic dialogue but the plot was almost nonexistent. It wasn't much of a comedy but it wasn't much of a drama either. There was no life lessons learnt and when the young boys were presented with a possible life changing situation, nothing really came of it. I just found that by the end, I wondered how this could be a full length movie. A short film maybe, but not a full length film. There was not enough substance for that. It was scattered as many reviewers mentioned but this was not a good thing. I would skip this one. Even more disappointing, I rented it as a new release and got home and found it was on Netflix for free. Only rated 3 stars on there.
Overall, Funeral Kings is an okay film. It's funny, dramatic, and entertaining. But it strives to be a Superbad/Stand By Me combination. There are much better coming-of-ages films, like the two I just mentioned. It's frequent plot points being dropped is kind of a downer, and as a result, it doesn't feel cinematic. I know that's not what it was going for, but it needs to close off some of them. With that being said, there are many good things to note from this film. The main actors are pretty good in their roles, especially Dylan Hartigan, who outshines everyone else. The cinematography is passable, given it's not a big budgeted film. And the dialogue is witty at times, though sometimes they just throw in the word "fuck" for the fuck of it. So, would I recommend it? Eh.... maybe if you have nothing to do. But that's pushing it.
Ps. Os atores são de uma idade correspondente ao personagem, nada mais canastrão do que gente de 25 fazendo papel de 16.