When you think of awesome comedy duos, your first thought probably won’t be Jason Mantzoukas and Tony Revolori, but director Hannah Fidell makes you look foolish for ever doubting the pairing. The two actors play off each other in such an organic way you wonder if they are using memorized lines or just ad-libbing.
The Long Dumb Road is a 90 minute coming of age comedy involving a road trip from Texas to L.A. Nat (Revolori), an aspiring photographer trying to capture the real America with his camera, is on a road trip to his future art school until his van gives out on him. Needing a mechanic, he runs into the much older Richard (Manzoukas), an unkempt mechanic just looking to find a better place than the boring nowhere town he works in. Nat offers him a ride in exchange for Richard helping with his car, and this is where the craziness kicks off!
When you have a road trip comedy you expect hilarious situations, interactions with bizarre people, and dialog you and your buddies will be quoting after you leave the theater. Luckily, all three of those boxes are checked in The Long Dumb Road. Revolori is no rookie to comedies and does incredibly well, but as soon as Manzoukas appears it is clear who will garner the majority of our attention.
Manzoukas is always type-cast to play the same role: crazy over the top character with undesirable traits, and a mental instability that makes him dangerous. Yet, it is hard to complain when he plays each role so well, and this is no exception. Fans of his Brooklyn Nine-Nine character will love his performance in this film. One of my favorite scenes involves Richard and Nat talking about their favorite films that would make anybody smile.
A road trip has two main purposes: the journey and the destination, and this is where the film might lose some. Sure Manzoukas and Revolori will keep you laughing throughout the full 90 minutes, but you often think about the purpose of it all. The characters keep ending up in crazy situation after crazy situation, but there a looming sense of realization between the characters and audience that maybe enough is enough. Towards the end after all the laughs are had, you start to think about the whole reason Nat set out on this trip, and if he actually found what he was looking for.
The Long Dumb Road is a lighthearted comedy set in Southwest American scenery, fueled by Manzoukas playing himself and stabilized by Revolori’s rock solid performance.