Bad Frank Movie Review
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Predictability is often the result of a formulaic plot. Once the key characters are introduced, they are given roles and are allowed to make decisions and have reactions based on the events which unfold in the storytelling. A viewer can accept a formulaic plot and anticipate outcomes from decisions made by the characters, as long as they are logical decisions which follow some form of common sense. Bad Frank is the result of several questionable decisions.
Bad Frank is director Tony Germinario’s first directorial feature. Frank Pierce (Kevin Interdonato) has returned home to his wife Gina (Amanda Clayton) after spending two years in prison on drug charges. Frank had not named his accomplices, so he was given a reduced sentence. It is known that Frank has a quick temper, and often displays self-harm, which may have played a part in his incarceration. Knowing this, most would think to either avoid his triggers or simply stay clear of him. Instead, Gina becomes suspicious and inquisitive, so Frank decides to seek work with his old crew. Frank’s pal Travis (Brandon Heitkamp) discusses Rick Astley lyrics with Frank, then partners with him in on a drug transaction, where Frank has a run-in with his old partner Mickey Duro (Tom Sizemore). Mickey’s partner Niko (Russ Russo) immediately begins sizing Frank up, challenging him and pushing his buttons. When the drug deal goes south, Frank decides to do the right thing and report the incident. Mickey gets wind of this and sends Niko to cause problems for Frank. Niko leaves injury, death, and kidnapping in his path – this is all the perfect combination to push Frank over the edge.
What is odd about the film is the lack of concern over Frank’s short fuse, as well as a few other decisions. Frank complains over not having his prescription headache medication (aspirin won’t do?), yet makes no effort to get them. Frank seeks guidance from his father, Charlie (Ray Mancini), a former police officer who prefers to watch games muted on television, and view them in strangely silent bars. At one point, Frank raises his voice to his father, and the bartender yells for him to quiet down from across the bar. As alcohol is a trigger for Frank, he chooses to drink only water. Frank often expresses his need for help from others, yet he scolds them and discards them when they are no longer needed – this is seen through his interactions with his wife, and later when dealing with Crystal (Lynn Mancinelli), Mickey’s daughter.
Bad Frank plays out like many direct-to-video releases – formulaic and predictable in many aspects. Besides notable actor Tom Sizemore playing a role in the film, Brian O’Halloran (Dante from Clerks (1994)) also plays Donny Shakes, a local confidant and virtually unimportant character. This film has a slow start, but it picks up momentum once Frank has been pushed over the edge. Overall, I wouldn’t say skip this one, but I would recommend that you go to your happy place and consider renting it instead.