Here are the two jokes that work in “Rebelión de los Godínez (Mutiny of the Worker Bees),” an antic piñata colored-workplace farce from Mexico.
The hero, played by Gustavo Egelhaaf, has just asked a pretty office mate (Anna Carreiro) to the movies.
“What’s that one with the guy everybody loves?” he wonders (in Spanish with English subtitles).
“Eugenio Derbez?” she guesses.
“I said a GUY.”
The other gag involves a squeaky toy and its role in a riot.
Aside from those two giggles, a slap at the manhood of Mexico’s most popular comic export and a Picachu, “Rebelión/Mutiny” is a comedy that tries to make up for the lack of laughs with manic patter, mugging for the camera and quick cutting.
Not a bad instinct on writer-director Carlos Morett’s part. Comedy is close-up and quick, after all. But here, it’s no help. But he’s a veteran producer making his directing debut with a genre he has no feel for.
It’s about clever, ambitious Omar (Egelhaaf), something of a technology savant who shifts his dreams of making a costumed mascot he’s created for the family’s cell-phone repair business a viral sensation and joins the “white collar” world.
Whatever that phrase means in North America, in Mexico or in this film at least it’s treated as a term of derision – office drones, powerless in the face of bullying credit-thieves in mid-level management.
That’s Relo Tech, the place Omar finds work. Somehow, siblings Tania and Roberto (Bárbara de Regil, Mauricio Argüelles) rule two major departments there, lording it over the app makers, salespeople, accountants and clerical staff under them.
Omar is wised-up to the company’s soul-crushing ways by two colleagues, who teach him “the rules” which are hilarious only in how dull and generic they are.
“Rule #5, the less you work, the fewer mistakes…Rule #6, your boss is always ALWAYS right!”
Mischief is afoot at ReloTech, something Omar stumbles into as he’s binge-drinking with his podmates, prepping for the big karaoke-off with their rivals, KreaTech and dreaming up his “project,” an app idea to save them all.
Backs are stabbed, figuratively, and chests (literally, with scissors). Love is in the air, and treachery.
And the worker bees? They mutiny. It’s a riot. For real.
But the movie? You have your two laughs. I mentioned them at the top. Be content with them or find yourself something else to Netflix.
MPAA Rating: TV-MA, violence, sex, innuendo, profanity
Cast: Gustavo Egelhaaf, Bárbara de Regil, Anna Carreiro, Mauricio Argüelles and Alejandro Suárez
Credits:Written and directed by Carlos Morett. A Netflix release.
Running time: 1:34