Instead of making a thriller, the writer and director Daniel Antebi opts for a boho buddy comedy, with mixed results.
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By Glenn Kenny
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In most 12-step programs, attendees are advised to keep private what happens in the meetings. But what if somebody in the room announced an intention to commit murder? Such a conundrum might make for a good thriller.
With “God’s Time,” the writer and director by Daniel Antebi instead opts to make a boho buddy comedy that eventually becomes a grim parable of violence and presumptive heroism.
Dev (Ben Groh), the fourth-wall-breaking narrator of this story set in Lower Manhattan, is an aspiring actor who goes to 12-step gatherings with his best friend, Luca (Dion Costelloe), and the volatile beauty Regina (Liz Caribel Sierra). It’s clear that Dev is crushing hard on Regina. When she announces in a meeting that she intends to murder her apparent dirtbag ex-boyfriend, Dev goes manic and enlists Luca on a quest to save Regina from herself.
The movie’s nods to genre pictures (such as when Dev imagines himself as a superhero), occasional forays into rough-around-the-edges animation, and quasi-Rabelaisian humor suggest what one might call “Daniels energy” (as in the creators of “Everything Everywhere All At Once”) on a microbudget. The payoff is mixed.
The three principal actors, particularly Sierra, are appealing. But the story is thin, and the jokes are more cute than funny. What initially looks to be an amiably bouncy cinematic journey turns kind of pedestrian in distressingly little time. By the end, Antebi seems to pad the movie with outtakes and a pharma ad parody to get the picture up to a reasonable feature length.
Not rated. Running time: 1 hour 23 minutes. In theaters and available to rent or buy on most major platforms.
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