This was a film I was heavily anticipating, being a fan of Joe Dante’s. “The ‘Burbs” (1989), “Small Soliders” (1998), and of course the iconic “Gremlins” films (1984 and 1990) were pivotal films in my collection. Dante has been an inspiring director and facet in the genre of horror since the early ‘80s. So it is a wonder that his latest film, “Burying the Ex” is being pushed out with little fanfare.
The film stars “Star Trek”’s (2009) Anton Yelchin as dopey Max, a hapless Halloween store worker who has aspirations, but life got in the way of those. He somewhat shares an apartment with his overly controlling but drop dead beautiful girlfriend Evelyn (played by the stunning Ashley Greene). Their relationship seems oddly, entirely out of place, which sets a surreal tone for the rest of the film. The entirety of the film works in a low class, B-movie sort of sense, which works in Dante’s universe, but it missed the mark to catch me as a fan. The acting was great, but Yelchin is not a believably mischievous character, so once the story kicks off, the fact that Max has to lie just doesn’t work for me. He’s too innocent as an actor to go in that direction in my opinion. Evelyn works in her somewhat one sided character type- she’s a bitch, simply put. She is selfish and vain, with only her own intentions at the core of her little soul. Well played, and well done. Olivia (played by the just as beautiful Alexandra Daddario) plays a girl who lets boy wonder just walk all over her. It seems like the females in the script are paper thin in brain motion, and super good looking. Typical LA, I guess.
The story is funny, and cute and just floats along. The film has nothing seriously at stake, because even if characters die, they come back to life (hence the name of the film and the existence of Evelyn as a zombie). The story was written by Alan Trezza, who also did a short film by the same name, starring “Waiting”’s (2005) John Francis Daley, who I enjoy immensely and is often underrated. I think he would have been a better Max, mainly because he can pull off lying in a character without looking like he is going to cry right afterwards. Dante has usually been able to make magic from other writer’s scripts, but this film just didn’t carry anything over for me personally. While it was an enjoyable and fun watch, it was similar to Evelyn’s mentality- thoughtless and airy, and forgotten about as soon as the DVD player turned off.
Would I watch this film again? Most likely not, as although the film was visually appealing, the depth of the story wasn’t there, and didn’t really seem like it could be.
Check it out for yourself- the film was released on Blu-ray exclusively at Best Buy on July 28th, then available on DVD August 4th. Check out more information on the official IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3339674