Stop us if you've heard this one before: An evangelical pastor (Brosnan) and an atheist professor (Harris) walk into a room. They shoot the shit over a coupla drinks, all but neglecting Carl (Kinnear)---a former Grateful Dead fan, now born-again Christian who's just along for the ride. Then the antique pistol comes out, and before you can say "Praise Jesus!," the fire-'n'-brimstone cleric has accidentally lodged a bullet in the heathen academic's brain. Uh...the other guy did it!
So begins George Ratliff's mostly laugh-free black comedy, which gathers an impressive cast---Marisa Tomei, Jennifer Connelly and Ciarn Hinds round out the ensemble---for bad sitcom-level shenanigans. It's a whirlwind of mistaken motivations, pot-addled reveries, gun-toting baddies and Ridley Scott's Legend (Brosnan's character thinks that film's horned demon is a conduit for Satan), with all the actors trying their darnedest to sell the superficially shrill Bible Belt satire. But only Tomei, as an ineffectual campus security guard and fellow Deadhead, makes a lasting impression. Listen to how she stoner-drawls "man-n-n-n" or watch as she stares glazed-eyed into the distance, and you're reminded why this supremely talented performer took home the Oscar for her scene-stealing role in My Cousin Vinny. A prayer to the movie gods: Pair Tomei and Anna Faris in a Smiley Face sequel, stat!
Watch the trailer
|Release date:||Friday July 15 2011|