Movie Review: Balthazar’s a retired cyclist crawling for “La flamme Rouge”

The phrase “Maze Brothers,” as in “A Maze Brothers Film,” appears four times in the opening credits to the thriller “La Flamme Rouge.” Brent Scott Maze and Derek Maze wrote it, directed it, produced and split editing and cinematography credits on the film, which stars Balthazar Getty as a retired cycling champ who drunkenly and half-accidentally kills his fiance and the new cycling team captain our killer discovered was having an affair with her.

Here’s what the Maze Brothers so desperately want to get credit for.

Every instance of foreshadowing is fixed with an extreme close-up — a whiskey glass, a bolt-action rifle over a mantel, a CCTV camera, a pill bottle and an Uzi caught in XCU and a freeze-frame, to boot.

The detective (George Griffith) who sets out in pursuit of our cyclist-on-the-lam likes playing with his cigarette lighter, featured in so many close-ups that you’d swear there was product placement involved.

He should have an easier job of it than he does, because the fleeing Rick Van Pelt (Getty) lays low at a stoner pal’s luxurious pad. And Rick forgets to turn off the lights of his vintage Stingray when he ducks inside.

No way that geriatric Chevy”ll start when Rick needs it.

One of the unsavory people mixed up in this mess is a threatening, trash-talking art dealer played by Clint Howard. He likes playing with ball bearings. You know, like Captain Queeg in “The Caine Mutiny.”

“I’m LOSING my patience!” Ron Howard’s cooler-brother exclaims.

French “steroid” mafiosi have our former cyclist’s doctor (Todd Lowe) in their sights. But a local mobster (Josh Martin) is way ahead of them. He sends his favorite hitman, motorcyclist Nacho (played by Nacho Picasso…LOL). Nacho either goes shirtless or wears tattered tank tops underneath his biker gear. Because he wants us to notice his tats.

The title? It’s got nothing to do with the lurid color palette they take a shot at creating for the picture, the blood on the crime scene and what not. Well, maybe in the lamest symbolic sense it does. It’s a Tour de France term, the red flag that signals there’s one kilometer to go before crossing the finish line.

Did I mention the movie has godawful dialogue, is badly-acted, dully-plotted and slower than Sacha Baron Cohen on a tricycle?

Yeah, it sucks — pretty every way a film can suck. But at least the Maze Brothers made sure they got credit for it.

Rating: unrated, violence, profanity

Cast: Balthazar Getty, Nicole LaLiberte, Todd Lowe, George Griffith, Sebastian Quinn, Nacho Picasso and Clint Howard.

Credits: Scripted, produced, directed by Brent Scott Maze and Derek Maze. Level 33 release.

Running time: 1:34

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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