To be sure I’m well beyond the demographic that THE 2 BOBS targets, 15-25 year olds. The ones who get off on edgy video games, F-bomb humor and copious amounts of exposed flesh…real, illustrated or animated. You know, the age group that actually spends a lot of money on movies AND video games.
THE 2 BOBS starts at an almost frenetic pace that sucks in even the ‘old farts’ like me (I guess I didn’t really need the quotes around ‘old farts’, but I’m still coming to grips with being one) with clever graphics and effects work that give the film an initial visual style and appeal that seems opposed to the reality that this movie was shot for well under one million dollars on a SAG modified low budget agreement. Score one for the writer-director and his post-production team.
The film rocks along as we are introduced to the two Bobs – Horizontal Bob (Devin Ratray – the shorter, heavier one) and Vertical Bob (Tyler Francavilla - the taller, thinner one). Nerds to the core, these two otherwise complete losers discovered computer programming in high school, created their own video game and were transformed from a couple of loser, high school dweebs into a couple of loser, ex-high school dweebs…with money.
Here’s the story according to Voodoo Cowboy Entertainment and Texas Avenue Films:
The 2 Bobs is a video game geek comedy based in Austin, Texas. The story follows two gaming legends known as The 2 Bobs. But just as they finish their ground-breaking violent video game masterpiece, these gaming gurus discover their precious game software has been stolen – and with it, their livelihoods, genius reputations, and everything they own. To get back their game – and their lives -The 2 Bobs and their fellow-geek employees Munch, Doofus and The Dark Prince are forced to ‘turn detective’ and plunge into the strange world of Christian Venture Capitalists, aged Dixie Mafia hoodlums, and bizarre Internet Spammers that inhabit Austin.
The cast, a mixture of Texas pros and L.A. and NY actors all give enthusiastic, ‘can you believe we’re actually getting paid to do this?’ performances. But what the hey…this movie is a lot more PORKY’S than PATTON…uhhh, actually there is no PATTON here, but you get the picture…and the cast delivers the required goods. A particularly strong performance was turned in by Leonardo Nam as The Dark Prince, the most complete and interesting character in the ensemble.
Overall, THE 2 BOBS works as a broad comedy with a ‘keep Austin weird’ mentality. While it will be interesting to see how THE 2 BOBS plays at the upcoming AFI Dallas Film Festival, the full crowd at the SXSW screening I attended found no shortage of laugh out loud moments.
McCanlies’ fans who might be drawn to a film by the director of SECONDHAND LIONS or DANCER, TX POP. 81, should probably skip THE 2 BOBS if they’re expecting similar fare. Instead wait for the release of his next film, the more family friendly, ALABAMA MOON.