Review: The Wave (2019 Fantastic Fest)

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Title: The Wave
MPAA Rating: R
Director: Gille Klabin
Starring: Justin Long, Donald Faison, Katia Winter
Runtime: 1 hr 30 mins

What It Is: Frank (Long) is a pretty straight-laced guy. He and his wife are conscious of their money. When he gets a promotion because of an insurance claim that the family won’t be received. To celebrate he and his best friend Jeff (Faison) go out to a bar to celebrate. They meet Natalie (Winter) and Theresa (Sheila Vand) who end up taking them to a party. When Frank and Theresa meet drug dealer Aeolus (Tommy Flanagan) he introduces them to a new hallucinogenic drug called “The Wave” a drug Aeolus tells Frank to “ride”. Let the insanity ensue.

What We Think: “A small independent film powered by love and friends”. That’s what director Gille Klabin told me this movie is when I spoke to him at Fantastic Fest. It is that a bit more. It’s a manic, frenetic piece that moves from moment to moment without stopping to breathe. It’s a flawed story but that’s only because it takes some risks. I reward films that do this even if it doesn’t always pull it off all the way. Justin Long is really good here and provides some super energy that moves this along. Gille Klabin does a great job of reigning it all in. This can be a difficult task for any director but Klabin does it well.

Our Grade: C+, As the story moves along the flaws are evident, nonetheless, some will find a fun time with this. Justin Long shows he’s still around and still very funny. This is one that I think you can for sure enjoy nonetheless. It’s an odd film that cannot be understated. If you can see past the oddities in this there’s a very enjoyable film to be seen here.

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