Four Dead Batteries

"Very Good"

Four Dead Batteries Review


Shot piecemeal over a couple of years, Four Dead Batteries is a winning, though simple, movie that does justice to the grown-up sex comedy, a fair successor to films like Clerks, films which know that it takes grown-up problems to properly up the ante in a relationship -- and that's where you can find the humor in the situation.

The titular Batteries are an improv comedy troupe in New York (Patrick Dall'Occhio, Benjamin Travers, Rob Webber, and Dave Zubradt), and when they're not performing, they're suffering through near-midlife crises of various degrees. Specifically, each of them has women troubles. One's in a troubled marriage and his mistress isn't working out. One's married and trying to avoid the dreaded baby. One's just been dumped on the eve of his wedding. And one's a swingin' single that finds himself -- gasp -- falling in love with a real live girl! It's like The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, only with old dudes. And no pants.

It's too bad that, for the most part, the guys we're supposed to identify and sympathize with are all cads and are too much alike. Their problems ultimately seem trivial, and while neurotic Woody Allen-esque comedy can be funny, it's best when served in moderation alongside some humor that's less riddled with obsession-compulsion.

Writer/director Hiram Martinez has a better ear than most for dialogue, but the movie still features just as many howlers as it does clever bon mots ("Was he deformed in some grotesque way? Was he a lefty?"). All too many of the gags come off like carefully scripted sitcom jokes; they don't even read well on paper.

Good performances all around elevate the film above most indies -- particularly thanks to the put-upon women in the cast, all of whom take a back seat to some oversized egos by the guys. Martinez also teases out more that usual out of the digital video format, exercising restraint with camera movement that many first-time DV directors never seem to grasp.

Recharge 'em.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 96 mins

In Theaters: Saturday 27th March 2004

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

IMDB: 6.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

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