Spoilers want to speak with your manager.
We’re throwing a tantrum and the rule book out of the window for this one. It is, after all, a comedy with over-the-top characters and rather thin premise. The premiere had a cheerleader crowd to which I pay my respects. The main event had a lot of entertainment value. That being said I don’t think it merits its runtime, which felt a lot longer than it is. It’s not a complete loss, but we’ll get into it.
CULT HERO (2022) was directed by Jesse T. Cook. Dale Domazar (Ry Barrett) is down on his luck, having lost his reality TV show “Cult Hero” where he busted cults in rather self-indulgent style so incredibly narcissistic that for a moment I mistook this for an 80’s American production (it’s Canadian but the 80’s didn’t get here until the 90’s, give yourself a pat in the shoulder if you get the reference). However, his last attempt at busting a cult turned into a complete disaster and mass suicide. Cut to several years later and real estate saleswoman Karen -I mean, Kallie (Liv Collins)- has interned her depressed husband Brad into a wellness center run by Master Jagori’s (Tony Burgess).
The best this film has going for itself lies in its performers. Liv Collins shines in the role of Kallie, a “Karen” by excellence complete with shrill voice, a submissive husband and a talent to complicate everyone else’s lives. Still, she actually imbues a lot of personality into her character. Tony Burgess gets a lot of mileage of his short screen time as Master Jagori, a chilled out dude that felt like it had a lot more to bring out. Unfortunately its most weak point is one-note character Dale Domazar. Ry Barrett goes completely into it, but there’s really not much depth or charisma to his character other than the one liners and abrasive attitude. Adding some nuance within the same personality would have worked wonders. I’m not saying making him sensitive or smart, just give the character some additional traits to flesh him out and justify a full length feature. The runtime feels a bit padded, like a short feature that ran too long.
Lightly recommended with reservations. As a comedy skit, it does work but it doesn’t justify its runtime. We do have Liv Collins’ performance as the ultimate “Karen” to help out and she does shine in that role. I have to say she does come out with a little more charisma than the cult buster Dale Domazar played by Ry Barrett. It does work a lot better with an audience. Probably worth a watch as a late night movie with the right crowd and some snacks.
That will do for now.