A stale satire of the movie biz from the p.o.v. of actors who are out of work for good reason, “The Shot” doesn’t come close to its target. Lensed in 14 days for less than $ 40,000, pic is too marginal even for the most far-reaching indie-oriented fests and is thus being four-walled by the producers for an L.A. run starting Feb. 2. It won’t be around long.
Not that it would increase its business by one ticket, but this unpolished effort about two klutzes who steal reels of a major new film for ransom found itself with an inadvertent publicity tie-in last week with the theft from LAX baggage claim of 10 rolls of recently shot footage from Kevin Spacey’s directorial debut (since returned).
Unfortunately, here it takes most of the picture to get around to the action, as the initial stretches are devoted to endless complaining and unsympathetic strategizing on the part of the slovenly Dern Reel (writer-director Dan Bell) and Patrick St. Patrick (Michael Rivkin), cheerfully desperate types who feel that the industry owes them a break.
The object of everyone’s resentment is Hollywood’s biggest director, three-time Oscar winner David Egoman, with the character’s oft-repeated name serving as an accurate barometer of the script’s wit level. Kiwi director Vincent Ward pops in and out as a filmmaker who claims that Egoman has stolen his script, while Dern and Patrick eventually hatch their plot to snatch a work print from Egoman’s home during a private screening.
Based on his own play that Bell staged in L.A. seven years ago, “The Shot” possesses neither credibility nor humor, for reasons that begin with the fact that it doesn’t remotely respect fundamental truths about how Hollywood works. A fair number of scenes relate to final post-production, release schedules, studio executive work and the like, but bear no relation to reality. Satire that can’t even ground itself properlyby accurately portraying the butt of its jokes doesn’t have a prayer.
Script provides the viewer with no reason to get behind the dim exploits of the lead duo, and neither do the actors. Dana Carvey is flagged down on the street to schmooze for a minute, clearly doing the filmmakers a favor. Soundtrack includes a goodly number of songs, but tech aspects are otherwise rough, particularly the clumsily mixed sound.