Blu-ray Review: Frankie Go Boom

Frankie Go Boom Blu-ray boxSTUDIO: Universal | DIRECTOR: Jordan Roberts | CAST: Charlie Hunnam, Lizzy Caplan, Chris O’Down, Chris Noth, Ron Perlman
BLU-RAY & DVD RELEASE DATE: 5/14/2013 | PRICE: Blu-ray $26.98, DVD $19.98
BONUSES: Pig-in-the-Pool featurette, deleted and alternate scenes, behind-the-scenes interviews
SPECS: NR | 89 min. | Comedy | 2.40:1 widescreen | DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1/Dolby Digital 5.1 | English, French and Spanish subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

There was a time in the pre-YouTube days of the Internet that a comedy — say 1999’s American Pie — would have a memorable scene or two involving some kind of online humiliation. We’ve come a long way since then, as can be seen in the film Frankie Go Boom, where the entire plot is predicated on online videos wreaking complete havoc and embarrassment on the life of its star.

Frankie Go Boom

Charlie Hunnam and Chris O'Dowd are addled brothers in Frankie Go Boom.

The victim here is thirty-something Frankie (Charlie Hunnam, TV’s Sons of Anarchy), who for the past three years has retreated to a mobile home in Death Valley. This happened immediately following his wedding day, when his video-happy brother Bruce (Chris O’Dowd, This is 40) uploaded a clip of Frankie assaulting and vomiting on his fiance upon learning she was having an affair with his best man.

Now that Bruce has been discharged from rehab, Frankie is considering becoming part of the family again — until Bruce once again lets his filmmaking inclinations take control, and he shoots and uploads a  video of a disastrous, impotence-laden one-night stand between Frankie and the inebriated but lovely Lassie (Lizzy  Caplan, Bachelorette). In an attempt to undo the damage Bruce has caused to himself and the woman he thinks he loves, it’s necessary for Charlie to call in a bunch of friends and family members for help, which might even result in Bruce shooting yet another movie in the process.

Written and directed by Jordan Roberts (Around the Bend), Frankie Go Boom is a spirited indie film that avoids the obvious raunch factor that could embellish its story and instead injects a surprising amount of heart into the proceedings. The cast is up for the fun, led by a usually un-funny Hunnam as the appropriately addled Frankie and the always-watchable O’Dowd sporting a not-bad, slacker-ish American accent as the damaged, would-be auteur Bruce. Oh, and keep an eye out for a sexy turn by Whitney Cummings as a bitchy film editor wearing a tight T-shirt that acknowledges the dimensions of her vagina.

It’s actually a couple of supporting turns by a pair of familiar middle-age actors that makes the biggest impression in Frankie. First, there’s Ron Perlman (Conan the Barbarian) as a computer-hacking friend of Bruce’s who’s undergone a sex change since last the two worked together. With his lustrous wig and upper-crust accent, Perlman makes a provocative albeit terrifying woman. And Chris Noth (TV’s Law & Order) has a helluva time as Jack, Lizzy Caplan’s hot-headed, just-out-of-rehab father. A former Hollywood heartthrob who still has something to prove to all the co-eds of the world, Jack likes to win over young gals by tightening his buttocks and allowing them to take a squeeze. It’s a fun, far cry from Sex and the City’s Mr. Big or The Good Wife’s Peter Florrick.

Bonus features on the Blu-ray include an eight-minute behind-the-scenes piece featuring interviews with filmmaker Roberts and most of the cast members, all of whom declare that the script was soooooo funny they simply had to appear in the film. There’s also 10 minutes of extended and alternate scenes, none of which are exceptional, and a small featurette about an adorable little pig that was on set for one big scene involving a lounge chair and a swimming pool.


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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.