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Movie Review: “Desperados”

There are many movies that are worth seeing, but there are a lot of stinkers as well. My goal here is to weed out the good from the bad.

Desperados

Netflix Release: 7/3/2020

Netflix Release: 7/3/2020

Synopsis

Wesley (Nasim Pedrad) has been feeling stuck. She has not been able to find a job, and she has had bad luck with men. Desperate, she accepts a blind date with a man name Sean (Lamorne Morris), but that date does not go well at all. Upset, Wesley leaves the restaurant, but she falls and hits her head. That is when she meets Jared (Robbie Amell). Wesley and Jared hit it off right away, and she immediately thinks that he is the man of her dreams.

However, while Wesley thought things were going great, she ends up not hearing from Jared for five days. He seems to be ghosting her which has made her pretty upset and in need of support from her best friends Brooke (Anna Camp) and Kaylie (Sarah Burns). After getting drunk off wine and venting to her friends, Wesley decides to send Jared an incredibly nasty email. Shortly after, Wesley gets a call from Jared who has apparently been in an accident in Mexico and has been in a coma for the past five days. His phone and laptop are still in his hotel room, so Jared has not seen the nasty email that Wesley had sent. Realizing she has made a horrible mistake, Wesley and her friends decide to go to Mexico in a desperate attempt to break into Jared's hotel room, and delete the email before Jared reads it.

Official Trailer

The Pros & Cons

All movies start with an average score of 75pts, points are then added or subtracted based on each Pro and Con. Each Pro or Con is designated points, ranging from 0-10, to convey how significant these Pros or Cons are.

The ProsThe Cons

Sean (+4pts)

Predictable (-6pts)

The Premise (+4pts)

The Comedy (-6pts)

Nasim Pedrad (+4pts)

Brooke & Kaylie (-5pts)

movie-review-desperados

Pro: Sean (+4pts)

At first I just thought this would be a random, throw-away character, but I quickly realized that he would play a more important role in this story. I thought his role was incredibly predictable, but I liked Lamorne Morris in the role anyway. He had an entertaining screen presence, and I bought his character's interest in Wesley. Lamorne Morris made the character serious when he needed to, he made the character funny when he needed to, and he made the character's role in the story believable. In a movie filled with mostly underwhelming characters, I thought Sean worked well, and I think Lamorne Morris was the reason why.

movie-review-desperados

Con: Predictable (-6pts)

This movie was about as predictable as movies get. There were really no surprises, almost as if the writers were actually trying to make the most predictable movie that they could. There was the predictable outcome of who Wesley ended up with, and there was the predictable realizations she had to make in order to get there. There was also the predictable forced tension between Wesley and her friends, and there was the predictable, eye-roll-worthy monologue, as Wesley tried to win her friends back.

Finally, there was the predictable "shocking" comedic moments, but I will get into those moments a little later. This was really just a predictable movie at every single step of the way. It could have been forgivable if the comedy was more effective, or if Wesley's story was more impactful, but that was not the case. This was a somewhat frustratingly predictable movie, and with not much else going for it, this hurt the movie quite a bit.

movie-review-desperados

Pro: The Premise (+4pts)

The premise of this movie was nothing special, but it was fine. Most of us are either dating or remember doing so, so we remember what it was like to try and impress the those that we were dating. We can imagine what Wesley must have been going through after sending that horrible email, only to find out that Jared was not ghosting her at all. The movie worked because the premise was easy enough for most people to be able to get behind.

While Wesley's actions afterward were definitely more extreme than what a normal person would do in her situation (which would probably only include being depressed for a bit, before moving on), her actions were believable enough for a comedy such as this one. Long story short, while I did not think the filmmakers stuck the landing, I thought they had a decent premise here. It got me interested enough to start the movie, and it had the potential for a lot of naturally occurring comedic moments. They sort of dropped the ball with the idea, but the premise itself was a decent one, and carried a lot of this movie.

movie-review-desperados

Con: The Comedy (-6pts)

The comedy in this movie left a lot to be desired. This was unfortunate because this was, you know, a comedy movie. There were a lot of comedic moments that were somewhat amusing, but they were never enough to even make me chuckle. Then there were the cringe-worthy attempts at comedy, which had a stench of desperation. There was the dolphin thing, which gave me the impression that the filmmakers thought adding a random animal with perverted humor was a sure bet at creating a great comedic moment. The reality was that this moment fell very flat, and it was not funny at all.

The filmmakers then went to this well a couple more times (without the raunchiness), with the goat and the cat. There was a surprise goat, that I think the filmmakers were banking on as a shockingly funny moment, but it got no reaction out of me whatsoever, as it actually felt very typical. Then there was the Nazi cat thing, which was a joke that the filmmakers went back to multiple times, but it was too ridiculous and unbelievable for me to buy into it at all. As a whole, the comedy of this movie was not very good, but the animal moments felt like truly desperate, failed attempts at comedy. They were proof that the filmmakers got lazy, and did not feel like writing effective comedy, so they just threw a couple animals in there and hoped that that would be enough to make this movie funny. It was not.

movie-review-desperados

Pro: Nasim Pedrad (+4pts)

Nasim Pedrad's performance will not blow anyone away in this movie, but it was enough to keep the movie going. I bought her character's desperation to undo her mistake, I bought her motivations to do so, as she was struggling with not having a job or a relationship, and I bought her panic in the more comedic moments of the movie. Nasim Pedrad's performance was not one that will save this movie, but she played the part believably and she did what she needed to with the role. Nothing more, but nothing less.

movie-review-desperados

Con: Brooke & Kaylie (-5pts)

Brooke and Kaylie were Wesley’s friends, and they accompanied her on her mission to Mexico. Unfortunately, it seemed like the filmmakers did not know what to do with them, other than occasionally using them as plot devices. The filmmakers forced drama into their friendship to force tension into the story, even though I did not at all buy what started the tension. They basically felt neglected, but they were fine until the filmmakers suddenly wanted drama, at which point the two friends were mad at Wesley, seemingly out of nowhere.

Then the filmmakers forced the resolution to this tension, even though I did not buy what brought about the resolution either. Then, while Wesley was doing her own thing, the filmmakers forced this random storyline for Brooke and Kaylie (the weird cult thing) that had nothing to do with anything, and did nothing but waste screentime. I liked this trio of friends when they were all together, but the filmmakers seemed to have no idea what to do with Brooke and Kaylie when Wesley did not need them. Thus, it felt like the filmmakers neglected them as much as Wesley did, and they ended up forcing some drama in an attempt to cover up the issue, but I thought it only made it worse.

Grading Scale

GradeCategoryPoints

A+

Amazing

95-100

A-

Great

90-94

B+

Good

85-89

B-

Decent

80-84

C+

Average

75-79

C-

Watchable

70-74

D+

Bad

65-69

D-

Terrible

60-64

F

Garbage

45-59

movie-review-desperados

Grade: C- (70pts)

I did not expect much from this movie, and it was still disappointing. The premise was decent, and it could have made for plenty of effective comedy, but the filmmakers were not able to deliver. They took the lazy route, and thought that adding a bunch of surprising animal moments would be enough to make this movie funny, but it all felt like forced, desperate attempts at comedy, and all of these moments fell flat as a result of that. The rest of the comedy was only enough to be slightly amusing, as it was never even able to get a light chuckle out of me.

Nasim Pedrad delivered what she needed to with the lead role, but she did not deliver anything special. I liked the trio of friends when they were together, but the filmmakers did not know what to do with the two friends when Wesley was on her own. Then there was Lamorne Morris as Sean, who was one of the movie’s highlights, but got too little focus to make much of an impact. This was a movie that had potential, but the filmmakers delivered a bland, cookie-cutter romantic comedy that was as predictable and unremarkable as movies can get.