My first thoughts about the movie Knuckle Draggers are that, for an independent film, it’s pretty high quality. The actors that were selected for the film are all competent and do their jobs well, it’s just that the story itself creates certain problems. In fact, if not for the efforts of Omar Gooding this movie just wouldn’t be very convincing.
Ross McCall plays Ethan, a struggling film director whose current girlfriend is growing frustrated by his lack of success and concerns that he won’t be able to take care of her while chasing a dream of being a director. The couple breaks up and the movie is primarily about Ethan’s attempt to pick up the pieces and move on with his life. Enter Kyle, Ethan’s brother and resident womanizer who is on hand to help his brother through this difficult portion of his life.
The movie is supposed to have a Swingers like feel but it really doesn’t, instead it feels like date movies you’ve seen before with a lovable loser and his polar opposite counterpart. That’s not to say that the formula doesn’t work here, but it certainly isn’t original.
The movies pacing is excellent, it moves from scene to scene seamlessly which helps things like dialogue and action a lot. I also enjoyed the relationship between Ethan and Kyle, it was very believable and made for some funny moments as the two go back and forth. Unfortunately midway through the film things start to get predictable.
The movie moves towards an obvious conclusion, I can’t tell you what that conclusion is mostly because the movie is worth seeing. Suffice to say that the situations created and the dialogue begin to lead you like a carrot leads a horse, which is disappointing. As you want you can’t help but wonder how many other people will see the outcome before it arrives. So, with that in mind, why exactly is this movie worth seeing?
Omar Gooding plays Russell, an actor who is trying to get his career off the ground, alongside Danielle Nicolet who plays his girlfriend a career woman. They represent a couple who have a working, yet imperfect, relationship. They are very convincing in their scenes and in their interactions with the rest of the cast. Omar Gooding has come a long way and is very believable in this role. Their parts in the film and the side story involving the two are the only sequence that leaves you guessing what the outcome will be.
Ultimately what will hurt this film is that it can’t shake the 90’s feel to it. It relies on heavy dialogue that is best suited for DVD viewing as a opposed to the box office. What it has going for it is that the cast is filled with really likable actors who do a good job together on screen. Kyle could have used a bit more depth but the movie does bring him full circle. Unfortunately Kyle’s self discovery is part of what makes the film so predictable.