‘The Wave’: Film Review

Variety | 1/17/2020 | Dennis Harvey
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A sort of “After Hours” update with a lot more drugs and time ellipses, “The Wave” throws Justin Long down a rabbit’s hole of sometimes hallucinatory, sometimes mortal peril when his button-down protagonist makes the mistake of celebrating a career breakthrough a little too adventurously. This surreal comedy from debuting feature director Gille Klabin and writer Carl W. Lucas offers a colorfully diverting ride that invokes the specter of everything from “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” to “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

What it doesn’t quite have is the singularity of vision those and other movies had in putting their protagonists through some mind-expanding changes, whether induced psychedelically or supernaturally. This fever dream feels more derivative than distinctive, entertaining and eventful as it is. Still, it’s a well-cast, well-crafted stab at something offbeat that should find a modest but appreciative viewership in limited theatrical release (simultaneous with VOD launch) on Jan. 17.

Frank - Long - Drudge - Attorney - Corporation

Frank (Long) is a 30-ish drudge attorney at a corporation where his primary task seems to be the unappetizing one of finding ways to cheat claimants out of their insurance payouts. Eager to rise in the estimation of his tyrannical boss (Bill Sage), Frank is excited to have spied a loophole in one long-running case that could save the company millions — even if it shafts the family who filed the claim. Sharing this news with workplace BFF Jeff (Donald Faison) the day before he’ll announce it at a staff meeting, Frank is too cautious to let his pal finagle him into a night’s celebratory carousing. But once he gets home, the tedious bring-down of domestic life with nagging spouse Cheryl (Sarah Minnich) makes him change his mind.

The two men head to a dive club, which is not exactly hopping on a Tuesday night. Nonetheless, they meet hipsters Natalie (Katia...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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