For most teens, the scariest hurdle is asking about their crush on the first date. But tonight for shy Mike (Tyson Brown) and prepares for his first outing with the idiosyncratic Kelsey (Shelby Duclos), courting is the least of his problems. After buying a dilapidated car from a suspicious salesman who has a darker history than he could ever suspect, his life is in danger. In a single night of testing and recharging his courage, Mike has to face youthful nervousness, criminals and screaming cops to save his love. Manuel Crosby and Darren KnappDirectorial debut “First date, ”Is a seditious, ever-changing sound party that, while charming in its ambition, ultimately loses its humble core to less than successful, rougher edges.
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Crosby and Knapp’s dark comedy is strongest in its sparse but amusing opening. A shy Mike stumbles to call Kelsey on a simple date. Mike and his best friend Brett, a curious horn dog white who blames Mike for not “showing a few balls,” share an unequal friendship. It’s clear when Brett urges his friend to snatch his parents’ money that Mike needs to show more gum around his mate. In a way, First Date is about Mike building his confidence. And if Crosby and Knapp stay on this track, the comedy will throw itself into its most beautiful parts.
When the film claps out of its relaxed mood – which contains references to 8-track tapes, “Titanic“VHS references and restrained, shimmering needle drops – First Date shifts into a different gear on a slap-dash joyride. Mike uses his parents’ money to find a grubby guy who sells a car death trap so that he can turn Kelsey into one Date can take. The car has a cracked windshield, fold-down windows, and a tattered finish that’s so rusted that no one can tell what make or model it is. Mike tries to rumble to Kelsey’s house before you do horny neighbor is playing his stupid game, but on the way he runs into two benevolent sheriffs, Davis (Nicole Berry) and Duchovny (Samuel Ademola), which give the procedure a caustic joke.
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“First Date”, however, starts from there. A shabby gang of incompetent crooks who share a book club and their sadistic leader, the Captain (Jesse Janzen), joins the fight. For a while they cause fancy laughs: a man with a baseball bat refuses to take off his ski mask, the youngest member of the group and his girlfriend are treated like idiots, and two older participants take their weekly book club far more seriously than their criminal activities. You are chasing this car. A vehicle that is now filled with Mike and a bizarre elderly couple asking for a ride. A chaotic sweep barely held together by a charming Tyson Brown drives the whole affair. But when Mike finally reunites with Kelsey, the film takes a completely wrong turn.
If you don’t like the tone of “First Date”, wait five minutes and it will change. It ranges from a California slacker movie to a 90s teen comedy to the final shoot-up grindhouse conclusion. In the flame of bullets featuring cocaine, guns and more guns – the chaotic energy that flows through much of First Date burns uncontrollably into sheer bloody violence. The charm disappears, the laughter softly, the lo-fi photography is less attractive and the innocent aura that defines much of the action is zapped. There’s actually a point in this shootout where Mike and Kelsey completely disappear. Your worries are no longer our concern. Rather, the filmmakers pay more attention to the flying bullets than to their two main characters. It’s a critical flaw at the film’s main intersection.
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Although the dark comedy is returning to its roots in the last few minutes, back to the humble teenage romance, the shift after the previous aggressive sequence lacks the effect. Brown and Duclos are undeniable talents. The entire ensemble rolls with the quick beats. And Crosby and Knapp show real comedic potential. But “First Date” takes too many large bites without the ability to digest any of its gummy candy. Crosby and Knapp’s “First Date,” a sometimes hilarious pleasure trip to California, dissolves under the weight of his self-evident ambition. [C]
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