File this under “we investigated so you don’t have to”: Yes, folks, it’s possible to find a movie in which Jason Mewes is not the worst actor onscreen. In Christian Sesma’s grating Vigilante Diaries, Silent Bob’s old partner has a fair bit of competition, in fact, joining in a misbegotten feature adaptation of a web-TV series readers may be forgiven for never having heard of. Theatrical prospects are dim both for the picture and its principals.
Paul Sloan (who co-wrote the tapestry of action-flick cliches that is the screenplay) stars as a military man-turned-“self-made superhero” called the Vigilante. (Some crimefighters use secret identities, but whenever villains capture this one, a big V-shaped scar on his torso makes the whole “I’m just Bruce Wayne!” act infeasible.)
The Vigilante’s nemesis, Andreas (Arman Nshanian), is the kind of drippingly affected villain who can’t do anything bad unless he’s whisper-singing along to an aria, relishing a butterfly’s captivity under a magnifying glass, or kissing the silver tip of his walking stick.
Andreas has imprisoned the Vigilante in Puebla, Mexico, necessitating a rescue. So it’s time to call a hardened crew of mercenaries with names like Wolfman, Tex-Mex, Hollywood and The Geek. You now know as much about those four as you’ll know when the credits roll, except that one of them (no spoilers here!) smokes a cigar. They’re hired by someone called Gay Barry, who wears bow ties to military raids and does his homework on a CGI computer system he bought used from the set of Minority Report.
As the YouTube videographer who helped popularize the Vigilante’s exploits, Mewes chimes in with a chummy voiceover from time to time, trying to explain what’s going on. But does anyone listen? The truth is, if you could strip out the douchey dialogue and tedious story elements, the remaining barrage of action sequences might suffice to keep the least demanding genre fans awake until they remember there’s an unwatched Expendables sequel in the Netflix cue.
Production companies: Seskri Produktionz, Ton of Hats
Distributor: Anchor Bay
Cast: Paul Sloan, Arman Nshanian, Kevin L. Walker, Michael Jai White, Chasty Ballesteros, Jason Mewes, Michael Madsen
Director: Christian Sesma
Screenwriters: Paul Sloan, Christian Sesma
Producers: Asko Akopyan, Mike Hatton, Christian Sesma, Nick Vallelonga
Executive producers: Stephen Goldfield, John Landolfi, Jason Mewes, Arthur Minasyan, Artur Shirinyan, Paul Sloan, Harut Tovmasyan
Director of photography: Anthony J. Rickert-Epstein
Production designer: Carly Larson
Costume designer: Mikael Sharafyan
Editor: Eric Potter
Composer: Kevin Riepl
R, 108 minutes