Arizona (2018)

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A bad day gets ten times worse for a realtor in this directorial debut from Jonathan Watson.

Cassie is a realtor who is starting to have a very bad day. On the morning of her showing, she nearly witnesses a suicide by hanging only to save the man. Her teenage daughter Morgan has resented her because of their recent move from Phoenix. On top of that, Scott, Cassie’s ex-husband, has left her for a much younger woman, Kelsey. And if that’s not bad enough, Cassie is getting reamed out by her boss, Gary. However, this is one day she will want to try to forget forever.

After her arrival to work, Cassie witnesses a disgruntled local, Sonny, engaged in a shouting match with Gary that soon turns physical. When Sonny accidentally kills Gary by throwing him over the ledge, he takes drastic measures and kidnaps Cassie. Sonny is disgruntles as the housing crisis caused him to go on the brink of madness. When Sonny’s behavior causes him to continuous do the unthinkable, including kidnapping Morgan, Cassie must find a way to escape Sonny before she and Morgan become his next victims.

Director Jonathan Watson got his start as an assistant and second assistant director on various films. He finally makes his directorial debut on this very insane dark comedy that revolves around the 2009 Housing Crisis. Luke Del Tredici’s screenplay is very fast-paced and moving with one crazy thing after another when it comes to the central characters of Cassie and Sonny, the former an unscrupulous realtor and the latter, a victim of the crisis on the brink of insanity.

The reason to see this film can be summed up in two words: Danny McBride. He brings a combination of comic wit, sarcasm, and insanity to the role of Sonny. The role allows McBride to be both sympathetic at times as well as crazy in the role of a disgruntled victim of the housing crisis who goes to great lengths to ensure his own protection when he accidentally kills the realtor responsible for his misery, played by a cameo-making Seth Rogen. From there, it’s one bad move after another, but it is the way Sonny handles, or attempts to handle the issues, with comic relief at times.

Rosemarie DeWitt’s Cassie is quite an interesting character as well. She goes from a hard working realtor to a victim with the tables turned on her for her job. However, despite all misgivings, she attempts to make things right for her and her daughter as they attempt to escape from the clutches of Sonny. Luke Wilson’s Scott doesn’t make an impact as expected, but we can see that Scott finds himself controlled at times by his much younger lover Kelsey, played by Elizabeth Gillies, who at times brings that mode that rightfully makes her the role of Fallon Carrington in the successful reboot of Dynasty. Kaitlin Olson and David Alan Grier make short but pivotal cameos in the film as Sonny’s nagging ex-wife and the local sheriff.

Arizona is definitely one for fans of dark comedies. While this took a serious issue and added that comic flair mixed with violence, Danny McBride churns out one heck of a performance that will make you want to watch this.

WFG RATING: A-

RJLE Films presents an Imperative Entertainment production in association with Rough House Pictures. Director: Jonathan Watson. Producers: Dan Friedkin, Ryan Friedkin, Brandon James, and Bradley Thomas. Writer: Luke Del Tredici. Cinematography: Drew Daniels. Editing: Jeff Seibenick.

Cast: Danny McBride, Rosemarie DeWitt, Luke Wilson, Elizabeth Gillies, Lolli Sorenson, David Alan Grier, Kaitlin Olson, Travis Hammer, Seth Rogen.

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