The Resonate Themes of ‘Ordinary World’ Are Undone by its Lead Character

GameStop, Inc.

Ordinary World

Everyone hates getting older, but for those that have aligned themselves with anti-conformist subculture of punk rock entering into a world of marriage, children, and a career can be a challenging transition. That’s the theme at the center of Ordinary World, the new film from writer-director Lee Kirk, which stars Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day as a husband and father trying to cope with life after his glory days of playing in dingy dive bars with his drunken cohorts. As hard as the film tries to present an earnest examination of this life coping with transition, it’s entirely undone by having a lead character that is so astoundingly stupid and selfish that empathy is elusive for the audience.

When we first see Perry (Armstrong) he’s alongside his drunken bandmates – including Fred Armisen and Kevin Corrigan – before playing a show in 1995. When we next see Perry, he’s awaking from his slumber only to realize that he’s forgotten to put out the trash. Perry is quite forgetful, as we’ll see further and further as Ordinary World continues. One thing, however, he hasn’t forgotten is the fact that today is his birthday, a fact that seems to have been lost his wife Karen (Selma Blair). Before departing for work, Karen provides Perry with a laundry list of things to do, including picking up a guitar for Salome (Madisyn Shipman) for her talent show and unlocking the house on his lunch break for his incoming in-laws.

Late to his job at the family hardware story where he works with his brother Jake (Chris Messina), Perry is feeling a crushing listlessness about his current life, often drifting off in his mind to the past triumphs. Sensing this, Jake gives his brother $1,000 and the day off, which Perry uses to book an expensive hotel room and throw himself a birthday party. As his friends, including former bandmate Gary (Armisen), arrive, the duties that Perry has forgotten about come calling, rushing to let his in-laws (John Doman and Mia Dillon) and picking up the guitar he left at work. In his absence, the party at the hotel has started gaining steam, his friends ordering room service and raiding the minibar. Meanwhile, Perry runs into an old flame at the hotel (Judy Greer), who is the manager for punk icon Joan Jett (who has a very brief cameo). Trying to recapture the rebellion of his youth leaves Perry in a situation where he’s facing consequences for his dereliction of responsibility.

As much as Kirk wants you to extend a level of sympathy towards Perry, his screenplay makes it pretty much impossible to care for such a selfish, irreconcilably stupid character. Within minutes of the film’s brief 90-minute running time, we’re witness to the character accepting and forgetting tasks with increasingly regularity. It’d be one thing if bad luck intervenes and were distract the character, but he unconsciously goes through this one day in an oblivious stupor that is so unrelenting it makes empathy something no rational person would extend to this individual. And yet the character’s stupidity isn’t even mined for the slightest comedic effect, instead just a series of selfish actions that are simply excused because he’s in the throes of a mid-life crisis.

Billie Joe Armstrong isn’t a particularly strong actor. His actions rarely come across as naturalistic, as the task of acting is apparently always on his mind. Yet for all his failings as a leading man, Armstrong isn’t embarrassing in the role. Much of that credit, though, is given to his strong supporting actors, especially an eager Fred Armisen who sparks Perry’s party to spiral out of control. All supporting characters amble in and out of the narrative, placing Armstrong at the heart of every single scene of Ordinary World.

Unfortunately, Ordinary World is unable to tap into the universal themes of being uneasy growing up and accepting responsibility because its main character is just so aloof in everything that he does. The character operates as nothing more than a selfish doofus that only thinks of others after he’s already done the harm. Ordinary World lands as a crushing disappointment because it can’t make the audience care about its lead. Everyone has to grow up at one point. Everyone has forgetful moments. Everyone has irredeemably stupid moments. But not everyone has these moments happen in succession over the course of a single day. I really wanted to extend goodwill to Ordinary World, but its collision of the mundane and inane just wouldn’t let me.

Ordinary World
  • Overall Score
2.5

Summary

An almost fascinating portrait of a character coping with life after punk rock, Ordinary World is sadly underserved by its lead character’s astounding stupidity and selfishness.

Anytime Costumes

Leave a Reply

Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
Josh Dela Cruz Talks ‘Blues Clues & You!’ Along with ‘American Morning’

Josh Dela Cruz is truly living the American Dream. Born in...

Invasion Earth Trailer

Press Release – Premiering in loungerooms this August, an exhilarating new...

The Old Guard Review
‘The Old Guard’ Review — An Uneven, Ambitious Blockbuster Subversion

This summer has really deprived movie lovers of blockbuster action, as...

Event News Event Reviews
Adult Swim Con is Apart of Comic-Con @ Home!

From Cartoon Network – Adult Swim announces the first-ever Adult Swim...

SDCC Amazon Prime Activation
[Con-Pression] SDCC Amazon Prime Activation

We relive moments of Con past to deal with our Con-Pression,...

Casey Biggs and Jeffery Combs Discuss their Virtual Meet and Greek Along with Star Trek Las Vegas

On the heels of Creation Entertainment announcing the Official Star Trek...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
SnowRunner
SnowRunner Launches Today

SnowRunner looks to be the ultimate off-roading virtual experience and launches today...

John Wick Hex
John Wick Hex Releases May 5th on PC and Playstation 4

John Wick Hex releases on May 5th on PC and Playstation...

Marvel United Funded
Marvel United Funded – Only Hours Left to Back Marvel United

Marvel United funded in the first 31 minutes! Now you only...

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
Green Lantern 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular Variant Covers Announced

Press Release from DC Entertainment:   “In brightest day, in blackest...

Comic Historian and Writer, Scott Beatty Discusses the Future of the Industry

Scott Beatty is an incredible guy. He’s a writer, professor, father...

AEW Star, Hangman Page Reads Aloud to Children on Instagram on Friday, April 17

Press Release – CHICAGO, IL (April 14, 2020) – With schools...

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
Sprayground Launches Superhero Backpacks for Back to School 2020

Press Release – New York, New York – July 13, 2020:...

Celebrate Bob Ross and the Joy of Painting with Loot Crate

Press Release – Los Angeles, CA (April 16, 2020) – For almost...

McCafé Frappé
McCafé Frappé in a Bottle is a Great Way to Start the Day

McCafé Frappé in a Bottle is the best way to start...

Automotives Football MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
NBA Legend Tim Hardaway Will be an Analyst for ‘The 5 Tournament Pro Basketball Invitational’

One-third of the RUN TMC that also consisted of Mitch Richmond...

WWE Superstar Sonya Deville Wants to Dawn the Cowl as ‘Batwoman’

Most of you may know her as formerly one half of...

We get ‘Fit with Mandy’ Rose

Former WBFF Bikini World Champion and current WWE Superstar, Mandy Rose...

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...?
Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and New Horizons: New Neighbors

A borked attempt to rescue the boys brings new characters to...

Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and the wizarding rumble: A new horizon chapter: 4

Ron falls further and further under the spell of the island....

Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and the Wizarding Rumble, mini-arc: New Horizons chapter 3

Ron is easily seduced by the trappings of Animal Crossing..

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Episode 38: Hamid Rahmanian

Join Whitney Grace as she speaks with artist Hamid Rahmanian, who...

No Preview
Toon-In Talk Episode 37: Niki Smith

Whitney Grace interviews graphic novel writer and artist Niki Smith about...

Toon-In Talk Episode 36: Rob Paulsen

Rob Paulsen takes some time from his busy voice acting schedule...

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
New Single ‘Aqua’ from ‘The SpongeBob Move: Sponge On the Run Debuts Today!

From Paramount Animation – LOS ANGELES, CA (July 9th, 2020) –...

Comedy Duo Ben Giroux and Jensen Reed Take Us, ‘Back To The 80s’

Two of the funniest men in show business, Ben Giroux (Hart...

James Maslow ‘Rush’es the Stage to Perform at Super Girl Surf Pro on Sunday

James Maslow is an American singer, actor and songwriter best known as the star of...