Movie Review: “Two Ways to Go West,” one pointless indie drama

Some movies are so bad that never getting to make another seems like the only apt punishment for the filmmakers.

“Two Ways to Go West” is like a delusional high school drama nerd’s idea of drama, basically a three character play about three douche-bros who go to Vegas for a bachelor party throw-down. They spend the whole movie in a generic, could-be-anywhere hotel room, airing grievances, talking about women, vices and failings.

It’s like “The Hangover” without the tiger. Or anything else, and I do mean ANYthing.

There are quick movie hacks that critics use to tell if a film’s going to offer nothing at all, give-aways right at the outset.

Here’s one. Your “movie/TV star” character, generic since “The Big Chill” ripped off “Return of the Secaucus Seven,” stops his pricey Mercedes convertible in a piece of Anywhere, Desert S.W. USA (it’s supposed to be Vegas) and makes a call.

The process of driving, stopping, calling (only one side of the conversation is heard) takes up the first three minutes or more of the “movie.”

Nothing happens, nothing of any interest or import is said. And you’ve noticed the runtime of the picture is only 78 minutes. Anybody who wastes the one chance their picture has to grab the viewer’s interest and attention fthat way has no idea what they’re doing.

And since in this case, the “star” making the stop is also the film’s screenwriter, there’s also the vanity of “I’m movie star good looking. People will just want to watch me.”

No, James Lidell, they won’t. And the zero-entertainment-value that follows that ensures it.

“Gavy” (Gavin, played by Lidell) left Detroit and made a name for himself in Hollywood. Shane (Drew Kenney) is the one getting married, although he and Gavin have a beef over somebody sleeping with somebody’s ex, years before.

Marty (Paul Gennaro) is the glue, the one that holds the trio together? Guessing here.

Three boring 30ish actors playing bores then settle down with some generic off-brand beers and play teenage girls slumber party games.

“If you could change one thing about your body…If you could go back to any day…”

Oh. My. God.

You kind of wish their banter about women was more sexist and offensive, because at least that’s something. “Addiction” is introduced as an afterthought. A diner scene at the end has the gravitas of “at least this is something after 75 minutes of nothing,” but there’s not much to that, either.

No, titling segments of this evening wasted waiting for the stripper (she shows), flashing back to the guy with the Filipino girlfriend’s relationship, etc., in — I guess — Tagalog (Filipino language) isn’t clever or meaningful.

“Miss No Kiku — I Miss You.”

How about “Sana hindi ko ito pinalampas (I wish I’d missed this)?”


MPAA Rating: unrated, profanity

Cast: James Lidell, Paul Gennaro, Drew Kenney, Levy Tran and Kathrine Narducci

Credits: Directed by Ryan Brookhart, script by James Lidell. A Global Digital release.

Running time: 1:18

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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