Well Go Usa // 2010 // 80 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // July 21st, 2011
Not every idea is a winner.
Dax Shepard (Employee of the Month) serves up a noble attempt at a show business mockumentary -- but comes up short.
Dax Shepard pays Dax Shepard, a young comedian with a handful of mild box office successes behind his name. But he wants more. And he realizes the path to money and superstardom is in the action genre.
To facilitate this new vision, Dax enlists the aid of his friend and producing partner, Nate Tuck. Nate is skeptical of Dax's plan, especially as the pitch for his action film, Brother's Justice is consistently rejected by directors and actors -- luminaries like Jon Favreau, Tom Arnold, Ashton Kutcher and Bradley Cooper -- alike.
Almost, Dax. Almost. From the get-go, I was down with Brother's Justice. It had all the makings of an under-the-radar gem, an indie comedy that was flush with wit and unafraid to take it to the Hollywood machine. Fine, maybe it wasn't that highfalutin, but I was laughing out loud at multiple points and watching Dax poke fun at his persona was enjoyable. The parade of stars was rewarding as well, with all the guys from Kutcher to Cooper, embracing their cartoonish characterizations.
Unfortunately, the film just runs out of steam going through the third gate. By then, Dax has exhausted all of his potential production avenues and returns from a lengthy writing retreat to relaunch Brother's Justice with more verve.
The juice is largely dissipated at this point and Dax can't quite recover the mojo to push his satire over to the finish line. The once-witty parody of the pitching process and the struggle to get a film up and running is replaced by an extended take-off of a Western featuring Dax, Tom Arnold, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rosenbaum, and David Koechner running around some fields swearing at each other. Funny in a cheap, stupid sort of way, sure, but a far cry from what Dax was cooking up in the opening minutes.
Decent Blu-ray, fronted by a clean 1.78:1 widescreen that may not get to do too many sexy things thanks to the documentary feel, but it pushes a solid resolution throughout. The standard-issue 5.1 Dolby Digital mix gets the job done but probably won't get audiophiles terribly excited. Extras: commentary with Dax, Nate and David Koechner; deleted scenes and footage from the "Drillin' Deep" fake movie.
It's not bad, but Brother's Justice could have been a lot better.
Not Guilty, but I'm ambivalent.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Well Go Usa
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Running Time: 80 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Deleted Scenes
* Short Film
* DVD Copy