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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 0%
Average: 7.14%
Pretty Bad42.86%
Total Crap: 7.14%

2 reviews, 2 user ratings

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by Jay Seaver

"Nonsense from start to finish. Glorious, funny nonsense."
5 stars

SCREENED AT THE 2012 FANTASIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: Even those who haven't seen Quentin Dupieux's previous feature-length bit of absurdity "Rubber" can probably guess that this is going to be a strange movie from the title alone. The playful, cheery nature of the picture may be a surprise, though; rather than the perverse nastiness which usually prompts a declaration that something is "just wrong", this is pure joyous oddity.

Dolph Springer (Jack Plotnick) has lost his dog, and that's just the tip of the iceberg where the strangeness in his life is concerned: His alarm goes off at 7:60, and it rains inside his office - though that's a whole other story, as is the weird thing his gardener Victor (Eric Judor) needs to show him. At least there is some word on his dog - according to an intermediary, the mysterious Master Chang (William Fichtner) would like to speak with him about it.

It's a weird world that Dolph lives in, but what sets Dupieux's strange world apart from those of other quirk-pushers is how delightfully the oddities reinforce each other, with none of them seeming like a thing that would keep something akin to regular life from functioning. Everything seems a bit out of date and off-center, and the overall effect is to have the audience feel a bit off-center themselves, but not overwhelmed.

But then, are all our lives like Dolph's when you get down to it? The world is confusing, authority figures are arbitrary, and nothing works quite the way you would expect. Take away something that is reassuring and dependable, and it gets that much more strange. Or maybe the existing strangeness is just thrown into much sharper relief. Either way, this feeling that the world, even if it is navigable, doesn't quite make sense makes Wrong a movie that is completely accessible in the broad strokes but not obvious about it; the details are constantly surprising.

That's the sort of mandate that seems to guide star Jack Plotnick as well. He's got the everyman vibe one expects from this sort of movie, but with the same sort of peculiarity as the rest of the characters. He's able to go from "put-upon" frustration to "teetering on the edge" anger without losing the audience's sympathy. Eric Judor and Alexis Dziena make great foils, with Judor bringing a sort of simple-minded confusion while Dziena counters with a cheerfully irrational certainty. Also funny is Steve Little as the private detective hunting down Dolph's dog, and Mark Burnham as a cop who appears in two scenes but is so straight-facedly hilarious that I'm not surprised he's apparently getting a spinoff feature. And then there's William Fichtner, adding yet another peculiarly detached performance to his roster. Master Chang is weird by both Fichtner's standard and the film's, but the actor is able to make him memorable enough that every mention of the character while he's off-screen conjures the guy up, even without him coming to dominate the movie.

Everything looks and sounds nice, too - Dupieux contributes to the soundtrack under his alter ego Mr. Oizo, and it makes a nice combination with the crisp, often surreal visuals. It's a very different feel than Rubber, less an isolated wasteland where anything can happen without being noticed than the everyday world where anything does happen but we take it for granted.

Whatever it is, it's definitely funny - it's a rare minute that passes without not only showing the audience something odd, but doing so with impeccable comic timing. It's an obvious thing to say, but it's true - "Wrong" is wrong in all the right ways.

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originally posted: 07/23/12 14:47:03
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2012 Sundance Film Festival For more in the 2012 Sundance Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2012 Fantasia International Film Festival For more in the Fantasia International Film Festival 2012 series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: Fantastic Fest 2012 For more in the Fantastic Fest 2012 series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 35th Starz Denver Film Festival For more in the 35th Starz Denver Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

4/01/13 Man Out Six Bucks Such an appropriate title 1 stars
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  29-Mar-2013 (NR)
  DVD: 11-Jun-2013


  DVD: 11-Jun-2013

Directed by
  Quentin Dupieux

Written by
  Quentin Dupieux

  Jack Plotnick
  Eric Judor
  Alexis Dziena
  Steve Little
  William Fichtner

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