Director: Dan Gregor
Starring: Vincent Kartheiser, Adam Pally, Rachel Bloom
Initial Thoughts: This movie was definitely an ensemble effort, and they all bore the weight equally. It was refreshing to see a cast seeming to really enjoy themselves. ‘Most Likely to Murder’ haphazardly and mostly hits the mark, but I don’t foresee it making a huge splash among any audiences.
**There’s always the potential for spoilers below! If you think you’d like to give this film a watch, stop now, and then return afterwards!**
I want to be fair. I did enjoy myself watching this movie. But there’s a reason that not that many people have seen this movie, why it only has a handful of reviews when it’s already been out for a few months. The general consensus among the 11 or so critics who even deigned to put pen to paper was the this movie is just… Okay.
If you didn’t hear a dang thing about this movie so far, here’s the obligatory summary from IMDb:
A home for the holidays murder-mystery comedy – former high-school hero Billy (Adam Pally) comes back to his hometown expecting things to be like they used to. Instead, he finds all his friends have moved on, and his ex (Rachel Bloom) is dating the former high school outcast (Vincent Kartheiser). So, Billy becomes obsessed with proving the outcast is actually the killer behind a mysterious local death.
Pally’s portrayal of a glorified man child isn’t far off from his public persona, so it’s really easy to jump on board. He’s so stuck in his high school glory days and impressing the people from that part of his life that the viewer suffers right along with the rest of the cast while Pally’s character Billy embarrasses himself with each act of desperation. Kara, played by Rachel Bloom, is a strong female character, but she makes some weird choices that I guess are supposed to allude to linger feelings for Billy, but it feels forced. Vincent Kartheiser slips comfortably into the creepy role of Lowell, but sometimes his delivery feels a bit over the top. You don’t have to sell it to us, Kartheiser. Your whole look is already doing a lot of the work. The supporting cast had a few surprises in it—John Reynolds and Hasan Minhaj were two of my most favorites, with Reynolds clearly stealing the spotlight as the film progressed.
Many critics referred to this film as ‘Rear Window for Stoners,’ but even at the height of the action, the stakes don’t feel so dire. It falls pretty flat on the intentional camp that make other films of a similar persuasion such a hit. It stays pretty middle-of-the-road, I think, thanks to the amazing chemistry of the cast. Despite Pally being the central character, you really grow to care about all of the players equally, even if only a small amount.
Final Thoughts: I hope more people do give this a go, as long they manage their expectations. I’d even give it a re-watch when it comes to streaming if I’m in need of some casual, background entertainment. But overall, you’re not missing anything amazing if you pass on ‘Most Likely to Murder.’