Review: First Date (Sundance 2021)

Title: First Date
MPAA Rating: Not Yet Rated
Director: Manuel Crosby, Darren Knapp
Starring: Tyson Brown, Shelby Duclos, Jesse Janzen
Runtime: 1 hr 43 mins

What It Is: Mike (Brown) is a young man with no car who wants to take his crush, the lovely Kelsey (Duclos) on a date. When he finally gets up the courage to ask her he realizes he’d like to pick her up in a whip all his own. So he buys a car from the rather shady Dennis (Scott Noble) which he isn’t aware is a hot commodity. Not for the vehicle itself, in fact, the car itself is garbage. But there’s just something about the old, trashy car that’s got a murderous group of ruffians after it.

What We Think: Mixing elements of other films well while also introducing its own spin on the genre. When it’s a comedy it’s hilarious. When it’s a crime film it lacks slightly, and as far as a romance it’s pretty good. The chemistry between Brown and Duclos makes this coalesce. Their scenes, though few and far between, formulate a heart to the film. There’s mayhem everywhere and I feel like Crosby and Knapp orchestrate this thing quite well. The script isn’t that revolutionary but it does EXACTLY what it is supposed to do. It tells its tale while crafting characters that have enough dimension to keep us until the end. One thing I can tell you for sure is that the young actors at the heart of this make the whole thing feel fresh. Its topics and themes may be seemingly recycled the entire thing is put together in a unique way. Fresh-faced and full of fun. That’s the best way to describe it. Tyson Brown has a breakthrough here and he is great.

Our Grade: B+, This is one to check out whenever and wherever it gets distribution. From the fun and funny concept to the solid direction “First Date” comes off totally authentic to itself. The language of the script and the delivery of the lines by the actors stay true to what they seemingly wanted to do. Keep a lookout for the young actors at the core here I think it’d be great to see what they do next. For you comic book fans…tell me Tyson Brown would not make a stellar Static Shock. The defense rests on that one. Having said all that check this one out you’re sure to have a fun time with this surprisingly well-done film. OH! Don’t forget to check out our interview with the two young stars and the directors of this film.