As his first feature-length debut, writer and director Jason Headley brings you A Bad Idea Gone Wrong. The story of two inept friends who turn to burglary.
Marlon, Matt Jones (Home, Breaking Bad (TV)), and Leo, Will Rogers (Bridge Of Spies, A Good Marriage) are friends who have dreams of pulling off some kind of heist.
Leo informs Marlon he has the perfect place, a home, the family will be gone for the week and they have valuables. It’s a no brainer, he even knows where the key is, the only problem is the house is in a gated community, but Marlon hatches a plan for that.
They get in the house easy enough, but on entering they hear a noise, an alarm. Marlon does some jiggery-pokery with the keypad and ends up arming the alarm, which wasn’t on to begin with.
Trapped inside the house, they start looking for the key and Leo develops a strange care about the place and the possessions therein.
When they enter one of the bedrooms to find a woman passed out on the bed, things go from bad to worse.
I haven’t seen Headley’s other things, which are all shorts, but A Bad Idea Gone Wrong has a strange familiarity to it. It’s dialogue heavy and reminds me of Kevin Smith’s stuff though it lacks the laughter or memorable lines.
The problem with all the dialogue is it pushes what plot there is to the back, it slows everything down, so even when it becomes a race against time, the tension isn’t there.
Things do pick up on the discovery of Darcy, Eleanore Pienta (Bad At Dancing, 7 Chinese Brothers), who originally informs the duo she’s the house sitter. But she’s hiding a secret herself, much as Leo is.
Pienta steals the show as she brings a level of enthusiasm and injects some fun into the proceedings which, up until this point, has been two chilled-out friends waxing lyrical about anything and everything whilst meandering around a house they’ve broken into.
Pienta pointedly says she isn’t getting ‘master criminal vibes’ from the two friends and this is perfectly true. But their lackadaisical approach to absolutely everything takes one hard swallow of disbelief to go along with.
A Bad Idea Gone Wrong is slow and not quite the gut-wrenching comedy you may be expecting. But, as a first feature film, there is something to like about it.
There are a lot of good ideas here, the whole premise for starters and some of the scenarios have lots of potential but are screaming out for more to be made of them, more comedy injected, more “umph” overall.
It’s just lacking that final push, something hasn’t quite clicked, it’s that final finesse that would have seen A Bad Idea Gone Wrong, actually be a very good idea indeed.