Red Flag - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Red Flag Reviews

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May 8, 2014
You remember that guy from Inside Llewyn Davis?




That's this guy!

He wrote, directed, and starred in his own flick Red Flag and his name is Alex Karpovsky.

In a way, what he's done with this "indie" comedy is what Quentin Tarantino does with his flicks. Blending and mixing, yet creating something of his own. This being clearly inspired by the style and works of Woody Allen, Albert Brooks, and Larry David.

Now that could be a huge turnoff for some. Many people want to see something wholly unique. Wholly original. At least something that hides its influences more subtly. While Red Flag blatantly parades around its influences, you can't help but see, and feel, the personal passion that went into this personal project. And that's what makes its obvious mixed ingredients so forgivable. If you don't like that kind of thing.

Red Flag is about a filmmaker, Alex Karpovsky (himself), as he tours around the South promoting his new film Woodpecker (a film he actually once made). It's initially a bummer trip because just before taking off, his long-time girlfriend, who was supposed to go with him, dumped him. And everybody he called to replace her bailed out. Came up with excuses.

God forbid you have a family to take care of, right? People these days.

Regardless of being alone, he decides to take the trip anyway. I mean, he pretty much has to. It's been booked and money can be made and since he moved out of his ex-girlfriend's place, traveling and making some cash money isn't the worst of ideas. But after one of his screenings, he hooks up with a stranger who digs his work and she ends up stalking him to the next stop. By this point, a buddy of his returned his call and has joined him on his trip. I won't say anything more.

Shenanigans ensue.

Much of the comedy (not all) in this film has been done to death, and much of its plot points are quite predictable, but the film's heart keeps that from bothering you. Even when you see where it's going, a part of you tenses up because you're anticipating it to happen. You just don't know when. And when it comes ... yeah. Can't help but cringe and laugh.

I also want to point out that I have a difficult time watching writer-directors starring in their own films. I just can't help but see right through their performances. Because most of the time it's self-absorbed. But in Red Flag, I was able to watch Alex Karpovsky's performance objectively and I would forget time to time that he wrote and directed the piece. I think that's because of the personal essence this film has. You know it has to be based on true, if loosely, autobiographical events, and this did not feel self-indulgent at all. It's very personal and possibly used as a coping mechanism of sorts.

Also worth noting, Red Flag is a bit lo-fi and amateur-styled. But as the film progresses and you get caught up in it, you eventually stop noticing. And that's a success.

Why it's called Red Flag, though? I've no idea.

There aren't many characters in this film but the few that are unique enough. We got Alex, playing himself or a sort of himself, as a very neurotic people-pleasing push-over awkward filmmaker guy. We also got Henry(?) played wonderfully, considering, by Onur Tukel. A goofy inspiring children's book writer with a heart of gold and likable personality. These two's chemistry was compelling. Their conversations with one another keep you engaged and wanting more (insert writing praises here).

There's Jessica(?), the emotionally unstable hipster woman who hooks up with Alex and stalks him. She provides an uncomfortable presence effectively and you'll see why if / when you see this flick. And lastly we have Rachel, Alex's ex-girlfriend. She doesn't have much screen time and we don't really know much about her. Neither did the actress so it wasn't the best performance or most interesting character.

I feel like I'm rambling. Which is a good place to stop.

Basically, if you like "indie" flicks (and this is so "indie"), this is for you. If you like the works of Allen, Brooks, and/or David, this is for you. If you just like sweet charming little flicks, this is for you too. For it is a truly sweet, charming little flick. Dat ending.

I'm not sure why, the funniest parts to me is when Alex would ever ask "Why?" or "Why not?". Lemme know if you find it just as funny so I don't possibly feel weird.

Red Flag should be called Green Flag because you should all watch it!

Three mangos out of four.
March 26, 2014
Karpovsky seems to have no qualms about portraying himself as a total screw-up, a talented bullshitter who'd do anything to feel a little less fucked up inside, and can see the humor in his own misery. Alex's misadventures are so absurd that you can't help but laugh at his self-induced suffering and hope he somehow finds his way. (One of my favorite scenes is when his mother calls him up at one of the many crappy hotels he crashes at and yells at him in Russian for being such a wuss. "I would've dumped your father if he made me wait so long too!") It's Karpovsky's willingness to not paint himself as a sensitive genius, misunderstood by the world, that makes RED FLAG such a compelling and amusing film.
March 21, 2014
The purpose of this movie isn't to completely appeal to the audience, but to entertain the audience via the characters and situations themselves, not the plot or outrageously witty dialogue. In my opinion Red Flag is perfect in what it was trying to accomplish.
January 4, 2014
Charming cinematic neuroticism.
December 18, 2013
How this film got such a high rating is beyond me. It was dull, dull and dull. So boring I couldn't finish it.
December 4, 2013
I did not find this LOL funny, or really funny at all. I found it rather irritating. The main character reminds me of Woody Allen's bothered and paranoid characters, but without the appeal.
November 5, 2013
Really funny. Smart. Unpredictable. A refreshing break from the Hollywood main stream nonsense.
½ August 20, 2013
What a great movie! I think the first 45-min were a bit drawn out and slow, and not necessary. I get why the film was done how it was, but I am worried that people watching this film at home will end up turning it off after the first 30-minutes, and will miss a really great movie.

There was a lot of dry humor and once the story got going the pieces came together. The film did a great job of exposing the relationships between people and highlighting some of the complexities that exist in love.

Alex Karpovsky is a brilliant actor and director and I am looking forward to seeing him for years to come.
½ July 26, 2013
Not my kind of film really, but thought it would have potential from the reviews. Unfortunately, was only funny enough to barely make me smile in a couple of places. Only kept watching it because my wife did, and vice versa. Acting was OK, just not funny enough for a comedy.
June 21, 2013
very nice ending. I've liked everything I've seen from Alex karpovsky so far.
½ February 26, 2013
Terrible. Want my $7 back.
February 19, 2013
Who wouldn't want to?
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