The under pining of this off-the-wall caper flick is a mystery, Patrick Dempsey playing a slightly off-kilter, OCD sufferer determined to solve what he sees as something deeper than a simple bank haul. He’s right.
What makes his thought process correct is what sells Flypaper, keeping the narrative moving in closed, indie scaled confines. Boneheaded criminals are on par with cartoon characters, dueling FBI Most Wanted listers inadvertently robbing the bank at the same time. One falls under the category of technologically plotted, the other, “blow it all up.”
Flypaper’s vision of reality doesn’t align with ours, quickly establishing the colorful cast of oddballs and the potential for comedic ruckus. It’s an anything goes world, or a bank at least, where assault rifles miss en masse, C4 merely puffs up hair like in some Mel Blanc classic, and flagrant expletives are used without care.
The mixture is odd, swinging for the fences with the f-bombs while the Looney Tunes-like facade clashes. Intelligence in this winding script doesn’t translate to proper tonal qualities, an easy turn-off as this sometimes mean-spirited trip doesn’t gel with those lighter qualities.
This is, after all, a movie where high class and low brow criminals stop their money hauling to check their FBI status online, disappointed to learn they’re ranked low in the 600s. It’s fairly clear why, Peanut Butter (Tim Blake Nelson) and Jelly (Pruitt Taylor Vince) utilizing more unorthodox methods and Chinese explosives sans instructions.
Whatever its faults, Flypaper finds itself amidst hectic ending of twist and turns that doesn’t want to stop, and it’s a shame that it does. With its brief 80-minute runtime, Rob Minkoff’s mini-heist still feels like it has something to give, and audiences probably would accept that bonus with open arms.
Shot digitally, Flypaper takes on an inconsistent appearance, and that’s not just referring to the pathetic smoothing applied to all close-ups of Ashley Judd. That’s just inexcusable, and no fault of this AVC encode. It doesn’t appear that the encode itself from IFC is responsible for much really, refraining from any interference short of some barely noticeable banding in the early going.
Crisp is an adjective that applies, Flypaper low on precision at times but stern on sharpness. The film opens on a master shot with a mild haze and distinctive bloom, settling down into its routine contrast soon after. Black levels hold a firm grip on the material, offering it exceptional depth without any lows. Shadow detail is appreciative too, the blacks keeping it intact.
There is a slight edgy quality to much of the mid-range, light ringing here, a mild halo there. Intrusive even if its to a slight degree, edges feel unnatural and impure, problematic when trying to present the scattered paper scattered about the main lobby. High contrast transitions are unkind, and the set allows for many of them.
Colors are faded for effect, arguably too dim for a comedic farce, but it’s the intended look. Flesh tones are a little pale and the stale bank interiors natural for a high-end financial institution. There’s not much pop to this one saturation wise, yet it also veers from modern Hollywood annoyances too, the palette consistent and unchanging.
For what amounts to a static, dialogue driven mystery, there’s a lot of gunfire to this one. Spacing is pleasant and the mixing is overall aggressive. This is a DTS-HD mix that doesn’t miss any chance to slip into the surrounds with force and clarity. Bullets carry a rapid traveling effect before slamming into their likely unintended target, thus creating a lively debris field. It’s balanced enough to capture that level of precision.
If bullets weren’t enough, Flypaper finds a reason to blow stuff up too, C4 hitting the sub with force. Less heavy thumps are accurately portrayed via a tightly wound low-end, always on call. It won’t add much to the firefights, but pops up when it needs to.
Dialogue could use a slight sprucing up, something to give it a little more life. The wide halls of the bank are perfect fodder for echoes that never really come, at least not enough to sell the effect. For a small, at times understated audio design though, this one still holds a spark.
Extras are filled with a dozen interviews, from the main cast to the crew. Each ranges from 10-20 minutes in length, while the lack of a “play all” option is a small irritation. A trailer marks the final bonus.