‘Folk Hero & Funny Guy’ Never Finds its Rhythm or the Laughs

Folk Hero & Funny Guy

There’s nothing much new in Folk Hero & Funny Guy, a comedy from writer-director Jeff Grace. In the film, two lifelong friends embark on a road trip and over the course of their journey hash out a number of conflicts old and new while learning valuable lessons about themselves along the way. There have been countless variation on this kind of story. What it lacks in originality it makes up with between the chemistry of its two leads in Wyatt Russell and Alex Karpovsky, both of whom are given assists by some of the film’s colorful cameos.

Paul (Karpovsky) is a struggling comedian, performing his set in front of scattered crowds at open mics. Jason (Russell) is rock star, touring the country in sold out arenas and living a life of constant partying and womanizing. As Jason is experiencing immense levels of success, Paul’s engagement to his fiancé has just disintegrated and he’s thinking of returning to the world of advertising and abandoning comedy. The rock star is about to embark on a solo acoustic tour and invites his childhood friend to open for him with his stand-up comedy set. Along the way, Jason also invites Bryn (Meredith Hagner), an aspiring musician, to join their tour. This starts to sow the seeds of tension among the friends, as Paul takes a liking to Bryn only to be surprised when he finds out Jason has hooked up with her. As the tour continues to progress, the rift between friends grows wider as Jason is constantly surrounded by adoring fans while Paul’s comedy doesn’t quite land with audiences.

Early on it’s easy to get a sense of where Folk Hero & Funny Guy is going and it never deviates from the track. At least the chemistry between Russell and Karpovsky is able to slightly mitigate the unoriginal scenario, and the casting is rather impeccable. Russell has certainly inherited some charm from his father and his big personality along with his hairy visage certainly has him looking the part of some modern folk star. Karpovsky has the misanthropic feel of a struggling stand-up comedian. He does a good job at playing it kind of passive at first before eventually having enough of his longtime friend.  There’s a comradery that he shares with Russell that allows Folk Hero & Funny Guy to retain some semblance authenticity among its more unimaginative moments.

Folk Hero & Funny Guy does something that is all too common in movies where a character is a stand-up comedian – his set just isn’t the least bit funny. Part of that is the point, as Paul is a fairly stubborn character and is set in his ways as to his approach to his material. Time and time again, though, people remark on how funny this character is and the material provided to an obviously game Karpovsky never illustrates that. So much of the film’s comedy falls flat that it has to rely on a cameo by David Cross as a DJ at a public radio station to salvage one of the film’s later scenes with jokes that actually work.

In the same way that the comedian just isn’t particularly funny, Folk Hero & Funny Guy is unable to do much with its dramatic content, most of which is rote and predictable. However, there’s a late cameo by Melanie Lynskey where the actress arrives and provides the film with an emotional spark it’s has been missing for much of its running time. There are times where the movie shows glimpses of what it could’ve been but these moments are fleeting and elusive.

Jeff Grace shows an eye with some visually effective moments, such as the film’s opening split screen. He never finds the rhythm that would make Folk Hero & Funny Guy sing like it’s capable of. Even as it’s falling flat dramatically or comically, at least he was dead on with his impeccable casting that really goes a long way in making the film consistently tolerable in its most uninspired moments.

Shop Deadpool tees in our officially licensed Marvel store!

Leave a Reply

Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
Goodbye Christopher Robin
‘Goodbye Christopher Robin’ is a Scatterbrained Biopic

A.A. Milne created something that has enchanted generations of children with...

Netflix September 2016
Everything Arriving and Leaving Netflix for October 2017

Another month, another time to check and see what’s coming to...

Battle of the Sexes
‘Battle of the Sexes’ Serves up a Clunky Script, Lifeless Pic

Sexism is an ongoing issue in our society, one that has...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
Nights of Azure 2
Koei Tecmo America Details Demon-Slaying Action For Nights Of Azure 2: Bride Of The New Moon

Survive the environments of Nights Of Azure 2: Bride of the...

SteelSeries North
SteelSeries Announces Partnership with FC Copenhagen, Nordisk Film and Their Top-Ranked Counter-Strike Team, North

Three of the Most Successful Danish Brands Team up to Accomplish...

Warriors All-Stars Review
7.0/10
It’s a KOEI TECMO Party – Warriors All-Stars Review [PS4]

Why are games that bring together characters from numerous other titles...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
viz
VIZ Media Announces New Digital Manga Content For August Update

VIZ Media details digital manga updates for August highlighted by the...

viz
VIZ Media Announces New Manga and Literary Acquisitions At Anime Expo

VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), a premier company in the fields of...

9.0/10
Supergirl Makes Contact in ‘Supergirl Being Super’

Title: Supergirl Being Super #4 Writer: Mariko Tamaki Artist: Joelle Jones...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
Yugi's Collector Box Review
I Can’t Believe The Cards That Come In This – Yugi’s Collector Box Review

I have been out the duel monsters game for awhile, but...

atari
New Atari 2600/Sega Genesis Systems from AtGames Now Available

Classic Gaming Lives Again with Release of New Atari 2600/Sega Genesis...

urban armor gear
New Urban Armor Gear Exo-Skeleton Case for Android Tablets

UAG creates an ingenious adjustable protective case for the toughest Android...

Arena Football Automotives MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
Mayweather and McGregor Previous Fights Now On Demand on Cable, Plus Interviews, Workouts and More

From iN DEMAND – New York, Aug. 17 – Before the...

Rumble on the Water 2 Delivers Punching Power

July 29, 2017 – Long Beach, CA – The Queen Mary...

UFC Star Jon ‘Bones’ Jones Releases Emoji App – BonesMoji

From BonesMoji – Los Angeles, CA., July 27, 2017 – One...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
CULTURAL JUNK DRAWER SDCC 2017 86.3% TRUE RECAP!

A totally true recap of the most important geek cultural even...

Comics on the Can: Schick Hydrobot and the Transformers

Written by John Barber, Pencils by Steve Kurth, Inks by Juan...

Star Wars Themed Lands Will be the Perfect Safe House for the Rebellion and the First Order

Disney’s D23 Expo has revealed a lot of what is to...

Event News Event Reviews
The Third Annual ‘BeerX’ from 91X in San Diego Featured Sunburns and Beer Goggles

This past Saturday, I attended the 3rd annual BeerX, presented by...

anime film festival
LA-Anime Film Festival Kicks Off to Celebrate 100 Years of Anime Films

Los Angeles Anime Film Festival (LA-AFF), presented by international creative company...

stan lee
Extraordinary: Stan Lee at The Saban Theatre

Comedian, Nerdist CEO, and podcast extraordinaire Chris Hardwick will lead a roster of...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Gaming Uncensored: Year in Review 2016

A look back at the year in gaming.

Gaming Uncensored Roundtable: December 2016

December’s roundtable discusses story in games with Chad, Josh, and Spencer....

Gaming Uncensored: Podcast #349

Jamie reflects on some of his time with the HTC Vive....

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Lahna Turner’s ‘Limeade’ is a Hilariously Haunting Comedy Album

Many people are roll their eyes at the idea of musical...

Prince’s ‘Deliverance’ Reminds Us of Who We Lost

On Friday, April 21st, it will be one year since we...

Sabroso Fest, How can you go Wrong with Beer, Tacos and Lucha Libre!?!(Photo Gallery)

The Sabroso Craft Beer, Taco and Music Festival sponsored by 95.5...