A Word of Dreams Recommends: “Buddy Hutchins”

By Andrew Buckner

Rating: ****1/2 out of *****.

A Word of Dreams’ latest independent motion picture recommendation is writer-director Jared Cohn’s brilliant Buddy Hutchins (2015). In this wildly entertaining and uniquely thought-provoking production, Jamie Kennedy gives the best performance of his career. This is as the gradually unhinged, recovering alcoholic title character. He is a man who is driven to violence from all the pressures and problems piling up in his personal life. This meltdown is prompted by the closing of his failed business and his discovery that his wife, Evelyn (in a quietly resonant performance from Sara Malukal Lane), is being unfaithful.

All of these previously stated plot traits are given ample concentration and build-up. What also further strengthens the affair is that Cohn’s direction and screenplay are both top-notch. They are both carefully constructed and paced. This is with a perfect balance of emotionally searing sequences of character development, effective dark comedy, many masterful mid-life crisis moments and tensely erected thriller elements. Likewise, the last act, especially its climactic scenes, ties these qualities together in a harrowing, beautifully balanced and satisfactory fashion. Augmenting the overall strength of the effort is a great soundtrack. There is even a cameo in one of the concluding bits from Los Angeles and Detroit based rapper Jonezen (Chris Jones).

Moreover, the 96-minute movie, distributed through Uncork’d Entertainment, is consistently compelling and well-done. Additionally, we have no problem relating to and understanding Hutchins’ pain and anger at any time in the feature. The result is consistently compelling and memorable. In turn, Cohn has given us Falling Down (1993) for the 21st century. This is a riveting endeavor. It is one that is just as intimate and powerful as Joel Schumacher’s afore-mentioned political masterpiece. The end credit montage is especially amusing.

See it now on Amazon Prime and other video on demand platforms. It is also available on DVD and Blu-ray.

(Unrated). Contains violence, adult themes and language.

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