Movie Review: Vengeance

The new movie “Vengeance” from first time director B.J Novak is one of the few movies that tries to be dramatic and comedic at the same time. The central part of the humor is all about defining the difference between people from New York City, who are sophisticated and rich as opposed to people in the poor deep south, who for the most part are far less educated.

The story of Vengeance is about an x-girlfriend of Ben Manalowitz, who was either killed or murdered while in a small town in Texas. Ben is a radio host and writer who decides to travel to this small town and by using his cell phone as a tape recorder, decides to create a podcast of his investigation about what happened to his x-girlfriend. Ben works with a producer Eloise, played by Issa Rae who reviews the ongoing podcasts back in New York.

There are some funny lines in this movie, pointing out the contrasts between the poor town people in Texas and Manalowitz – the best being, “How do you want your coffee? In my mouth”. The problem with this film is that the funny lines are not funny enough and there are periods where this film drags into solid boredom almost to the point where I wondered why they made this movie in the first place. The actor Ashton Kucher is in this movie as Quentin Sellers, a wealthy celebrity within this Texas town. Kutcher is a friend of BJ Novak from his MTV “Punked” series from 2003. Sellers provides some additional high level humor within this story and an unexpected ending that I thought for the most part did not work.

Essentially, this movie is too boring and slow in too many areas to recommend and I am surprised at the solid 80% ratings on Rotten Tomatoes. I rate this movie a pass.