Review: The Death of Dick Long (2019 Sundance Film Festival)

Title: The Death of Dick Long
Rating: NR
Director: Daniel Scheinert
Starring: Michael Abbott Jr, Virginia Newcomb, Jess Weixler,
Runtime: 1 hr 40 mins

What It Is: From one of the directors of Swiss Army Man, this comedy-drama is centered around Zeke, Earl, and Dick are jamming buddies who enjoy their nights together at Zeke’s house. After his wife Lydia puts herself and their daughter to bed, the threesome go out and party hard; shenanigans under influence. Hours later, we find Zeke and Earl drunkenly try to deliver Dick to the ER entrances as he bleeds to death. What follows is Zeke’s struggle to maintain secrecy as he juggles being a family man and harboring a life-ruining secret.

What We Think: Though this is a bit of a slow-simmer of a thriller/comedy/drama, you can in the least expect to see it heat up quite a bit, and maybe not in the way you think read you the film, as it tends to take itself very seriously. It’s sort of difficult to talk about this film without spoiling it, so to put it vaguely: story-wise, it’s fine. And this it’s very good. Otherwise, the casting and performances were perfect, the choice of music synchronizes awesomely with the characters and the action, the writing was okay (though it may be hard to get into at first, not because it was bad, but because it was average). It does some strange little things (as might expect from the one-half of Swiss Army Man), from brief, odd scenes to off-putting sound design. (I honestly don’t know if it’s rough editing or not, but Earl’s character vapes—every time he did, we heard him vape before we saw it… what?)

Our Grade: B-, A purposefully awkward yet sometimes tragic descent into madness and furiousity that turns into mild insanity this left me satisfied with what I had seen. Though not as entertaining nor intriguing in much of its entirety, The Death of Long…The Death of Dick Long film ended up with so much dark comedy joy to offer, it’s like an inside joke. I certainly recommend this for anyone who wants to take part.

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Chai Simone Written by: