Reviewed at Fort Lauderdale Film Festival, Nov. 6, 1999. Running time: 90 MIN.
With: Mark Boone Jr., Kevin Tighe, Toby Huss, Neil Giutoli, Algie Kirkland, Brian Shoop, Craig Walter, Betty Haynes.
Disillusionment and suicidal depression are played mostly for laughs in “The Wetonkawa Flash,” an exceedingly slight but fitfully funny trifle about a faded high school football star. Co-directed by Boyd Hale and Wendy Hopkins from Hale’s script, talky pic has the flavor of a minor legit opus, and likely will play best as broadcast fare.
Mark Boone Jr. strikes an effective balance of desperation and buffoonery as Harley Henson, a discontented drunk in tiny Wetonkawa, Okla. Twenty years earlier, Harley set a state football record for rushing while attending Wetonkawa High. A knee injury kept him from greater glory in college and beyond, but he’s still a local hero. Trouble is, Harley doesn’t seem so heroic to his long-suffering wife, who wants a divorce, or to his surly teenage son. Worse, a Korean-born student in a rival town is poised to break Harley’s record. “Flash” spends most of its time in the local watering hole, where Harley’s buddies drink heavily and discuss his glory days while he broods over buried secrets. The outcome is predictable, but some of the colorful dialogue is amusing.