There is no doubt an audience for this kind of comedy; the kind of audience that will cry tears of glee at a mullet-sporting crook as he’s bitch-slapped by his straight-talking mafioso boss. “You repulsive testicle,” he jibes, followed by an optimistic pause for laughter. There will, of course, also be those who elude this particular category, and these viewers will struggle to find much entertainment within the hour and forty minutes of this comedy crime drama.
Written and directed by Hadi Hajaig, Blue Iguana follows two ex-cons, Eddie (Sam Rockwell) and Paul (Ben Schwartz) as they seek to escape the tedium of parole with a heist mission that takes them across the pond to London to steal a rare blue diamond.
The story is slow to unravel, and is a circus of caricatures throughout, with overcooked British accents playing to a tired stereotype. It is of course possible that this would grate on British audiences more than Americans, who may be tickled by the bumbling getaway driver’s affable, “All tickety-boo chaps?”.
Rockwell and Schwartz give two of the film’s better performances, doing what they can with a script that lacks any real wit, and relies on toilet humour and slapstick to fill some gaping comedic holes. Phoebe Fox’s performance as the British lawyer Katherine Rookwood is flat, but ultimately her lack of expression and prudery must be recognised as the basis of her character’s comic appeal.
Deacon (Peter Ferdinando), however, is simply a vile character, and his place in such a lighthearted comedy feels off-base. His needless violence, in particular a disturbing altercation with his mother, lacks the flippancy to turn fury into farce.
Blue Iguana tries unsuccessfully to pitch itself as indie, relying heavily on an 80s-inspired soundtrack, mullets and double denim. But the nods to pop-art and comic book culture are too sparse to create a distinct aesthetic for the film. Instead, bullets and curse words are thrown around, each as arbitrarily as the other, in a desperate attempt to add some punch to a tedious plot that is complicated but not smart. Brainless comedy can have a certain charm on a rainy day, but poor writing is simply that.
Blue Iguana is released nationwide on 5th October 2018.
Watch the trailer for Blue Iguana here: