Revenge for Jolly! review (Blu-ray)

The hip young cast that director Harbold has put together certainly grabs the audience's attention early on the in this bizarre tale of revenge. Any filmmaker that puts Issac in the same film as Community’s Jacobs certainly has eye for young talent. With ample support coming from the likes of Wood and Wiig, one would be forgiven for expecting something rather special indeed.

We aren’t given much to go on early doors with a brief introduction to Harry and his beloved pet dog Jolly. It’s certainly not a spoiler to say that Jolly doesn’t last very long and is killed by a mysterious assailant. Harry (Petsos) doesn’t take this too well and enlists the help of his friend (Issac) to go on the hunt for the killer.

Unfortunately, what we get is a pitch-dark comedy that at times is quite frankly just too dark to be funny. Even those who like the comedy blacker than night itself will struggle at times with this material. The later scenes especially are just so overblown and plain nasty that any shred of plausibility is left behind. That’s not too say that losing a dog isn’t harrowing, but no one would take this much human life in revenge, especially when most of their victims are innocent bystanders.

While Petsos (also on screenwriting duties here) and Isaac certainly have chemistry in the lead roles, their dialogue just isn’t up to scratch. It’s evident that Petsos has tried to make this funny, but it just isn’t funny enough to carry such dark material; the witty exchanges between the leads fail to raise more than a smirk from start to finish.

The frenetic visual style certainly helps matters though and this combined with an upbeat electronic score certainly keep the pace up at least. You might not fully embrace or believe what’s going on, but it is very unlikely you’ll be bored. The set pieces are well put together as well and certainly hint at the films potential had the dialogue been up scratch and the film just a been a little lighter in tone.

The story isn’t awful either and for the most part holds your attention. That being said, it certainly wouldn’t have hurt to reveal just what Harry had done that cost him the life of his beloved pet. Thankfully there are enough twists and turns to overlook this lack of context though and the brief running time means you will happy enough to see through things to the end.

All told it’s not a complete disaster but certainly falls short of its talented cast. There are, however, enough decent moments that show a lot of potential in the still young director.

EXTRAS  Nope, nothing to see here.

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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