Rambling road-trip comedy "Slow Jam King" offers agreeable shenanigans as three mismatched characters find themselves stuck together on a long drive from New York City to Nashville. Writer-director Steven E. Mallorca demonstrates resourcefulness on a minimalist budget, if also a too-loose editorial hand and variable skill at satirical writing.

Rambling road-trip comedy “Slow Jam King” offers agreeable shenanigans as three mismatched characters find themselves stuck together on a long drive from New York City to Nashville. Writer-director Steven E. Mallorca demonstrates resourcefulness on a minimalist budget, if also a too-loose editorial hand and variable skill at satirical writing. Pic is a solid calling card that should attract fests looking for new Amerindie talent.

Wannabe gangsta JoJo (Ron Domingo) gets his skinny Filipino butt in deep trouble when the gift handgun he accepted from an actual thug turns out to be very hot criminal evidence. In a panic, he carjacks an SUV from cowboy-cum-perfume-salesman Vance (Whitney Melton), who refuses to leave the vehicle. JoJo’s older African-American friend Devaun (D.K. Bowser) reluctantly comes along to make sure JoJo doesn’t make any even stupider moves. A stop at a Viking-themed redneck bar and the discovery that Vance is an incognito country music superstar highlight the comedy whose ideas are generally better than their execution. Still, game perfs, nice use of locations and project’s overall good-naturedness make “Slow Jam King” pleasant, if not quite in the Christopher Guest comedy league it aspires toward.

Slow Jam King

Production

A Riding Mower Prods. presentation. Produced by Steven E. Mallorca, Cindy L. Torres. Executive producers, John Woo, Roger Woo. Directed, written, edited by Steven E. Mallorca.

Crew

Camera (color, video), Colin Rivera, Mallorca; music, Jeff Gray; production designer, John Wong. Reviewed at San Francisco Asian American Film Festival, March 18, 2005. Running time: 109 MIN.

With

Ron Domingo, Whitney Melton, D.K. Bowser, Beresford Bennett, Rona Figueroa, Kathleen Hunt, Reginald Mervilus, Alan Fessenden, Ben Scharlin, Eric Lehrer.

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