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The Opening Act Blu-ray Review

“The Opening Act” doesn’t deliver laughs.

Written and directed by Steve Byrne, “The Opening Act” follows Will Chu as he attempts to become a stand-up comedian. At the start, Will is in a tough place. He’s stuck working small gigs, he lost his parents, he can’t seem to find work as a comic, and he’s trapped in a crappy office job. The only bright spot is his supportive girlfriend. When Will gets a big chance to MC a weekend of shows led by established comics Chris and Billy G, he decides to quit his job and take hold of this opportunity. Alas, his stint doesn’t quite go as planned leading him to doubt himself. Can Will rise up to the challenge or will he abandon his dream?

“The Opening Act” attempts to be an insight comedy about the world of stand-up, but it ultimately feels like a basic follow your dreams movie. Unlike a project such as “Crashing” which really delved into that world in a more involved fashion, ‘Opening’ feels far too on the nose in Will’s journey of trials and tribulations as a wannabe comic. 

Another crucial error here is the severe lack of comedy. The stand-up bits we do see are barely chuckle worthy and the antics off stage don’t move the needle either unless you find an ongoing bit about a grumpy DJ’s eclair being eaten or Will having a “crazy” night trying to get a drunk girl home uproarious. To me, they felt like forced attempts to level up the comedy. 

The cast is certainly lined with talent comedians and comediennes such as Jimmy O. Yang (Will), Bill Burr, Cedric The Entertainer, Whitney Cummings, Ken Jeong, Iliza Shlesinger, Alex Moffat and more. Yang (who was hilarious in “Silicon Valley” and “Crazy Rich Asians”) gives a heartfelt and down to earth performance, but he seems a little out of his element in a leading role here. The best performance comes from Cedric The Entertainer who plays a veteran comedian and former TV star that sort of takes Will under his wing.  

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.78:1 1080p. Grade B+

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. Grade: 

Extras:

* “The Making Of The Opening Act” contains film clips, interviews, discussions about the project, the usual stuff.
* 11 minutes of various extended stand-up scenes
* “Getting Started In Comedy”- Cast members talk about how they got started in comedy.

December 12, 2020 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , ,

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