Released: September 2017
Director: Michael Baumgarten
Run Time: 86 Minutes
Distributor: Traditionz Entertainment
R. Marcos Taylor: Tyrell
Don “The Dragon” Wilson: Shota Kabu
Anita Clay: Meena
Alissa Schneider: Cecelia
Jonathan D. Lee: Vinnie
Wade Williams: Rocco
Forbes Riley: Mrs. R.
Paul Logan: Low-Gunn
Comedies are hard to review. Why? A lot of the time, how funny a movie is depends entirely on who is watching it and what their sense of humor is. I tend to be very, VERY picky about the comedies that I watch. But I don’t review them. What I find to be funny isn’t going to be the same for anybody else, and trying to describe a joke to someone is not something I’m very good at. When you throw in comedy with another genre, I tend to bring that up, because it’s part of how the film works. Whether it’s a horror comedy, dramatic comedy, or action comedy, the humor has to fit the situation. That’s where the comedy works best. One-liners and zingers aren’t really that funny to me. But for the comedy to work in those genres that I mentioned, the other part of that equation has to work just as well, otherwise you end up with a very lopsided experience. For today’s review, I present to you, Paying Mr. McGetty, and upcoming action-comedy starring the legendary Don “The Dragon” Wilson and R. Marcos Taylor.
The film opens as Tyrell, a laundry delivery man, wakes up to a phone call from his girlfriend, only to find that he’s in bed with a beautiful blonde woman. Don’t you just hate it when that happens? Leaving the hotel with the lady, somebody takes a picture of the two and sends it to a local mobster. The mobster decides to send the best hitman he knows, Shota Kabu, to deal with Tyrell. After encountering Shota, Tyrell tries to run away. With most comedies, the humor usually comes from some forced and awkward exchanges. I don’t like that in my comedies. I don’t mind awkward situations, but when they’re forced, they become even more awkward. If it’s awkward to watch, you did something wrong. Thankfully, for Paying Mr. McGetty, it never goes that low with the humor. The humor also isn’t crude, like you see in some movies. The story here works because of the characters. The best movies, whether it’s comedy, action, or drama, are character-oriented. It is the characters that propel the story forward. The action and humor are natural consequences of that. I actually enjoyed the story in this film, it’s actually rather engaging.
While a lot of the side-characters in Mr. McGetty are fairly disposable, the main characters are what make the movie so damned endearing. My hat is off to R. Marcos Taylor as Tyrell. He’s clearly having a lot of fun playing a guy who is having a VERY bad day. His character’s frustration is palpable and understandable, and yet that’s part of where the film’s humor comes from. You can tell the character wants to tell people off, but he doesn’t, because he’s got a girlfriend that he’s trying to support. Don “The Dragon” Wilson plays the assassin Shota Kabu. This guy is clearly not somebody you mess with, as he takes out his first target in the film with absolute ease. While the character seems like a villain at first, we actually get to see this guy think about the job he’s been assigned. Over the course of the film, we find that Kabu is not without a sense of decency or honor. An assassin with a heart of gold? Seen it before, but still, that also adds to the film’s humor. When we see Tyrell try to run, we see Kabu just calmly walk after him. Seeing him actually maintain a pace with Tyrell’s “running” is rather funny. One of the sidecharacters, Rocco, puts on a facade of being this hard-ass gangster, but when Tyrell knocks him out with one punch, I had to laugh. The characters are pretty decent, even though Wilson and Taylor are the front-runners.
While I knew about Don Wilson’s background as a martial artist, I was clueless about R. Marco Taylor’s background. This guy’s got quite a repertoire. In addition to being a stuntman, he’s got experience in Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Muay Thai, Hapkido, Capoeira, Kung Fu, Boxing, Judo, and Ninjitsu. That’s very impressive. The action film definitely takes advantage of his particular background. When he goes up against Wilson, however, it’s pretty one-sided. Later, he takes on a would-be robber and eventually teams up with Wilson’s character for the final fight of the film. The fight choreography is surprisingly really good. It’s a blast watching “The Dragon” work, but I was surprised at how good Taylor was. The fight sequences were pretty entertaining.
There are a couple of issues that I had with the film, though. The film, which runs at 86 minutes, feels longer than that at times. I think it lingers on some scenes for too long. There are also a couple of characters that really irritate me. Mrs. R is probably the biggest offender. I wanted to see Taylor just tell her off so many times throughout the movie. Also, there a couple of scenes that involve a group of hitmen that kind of went nowhere. We learn about these characters, but we don’t see them do anything, and as quickly as we are introduced to them, they disappear until the end of the film. I would have loved to learn more about this organization that Shota Kabu apparently belongs to.
Overall, though, I was pleasantly surprised with Paying Mr. McGetty. It’s got a surprisingly thoughtful story with some well-rounded characters. The humor is genuinely funny and the action sequences are pretty good. The negatives definitely bring it down a little bit for me, but honestly, I could think of worse things to spend an hour and a half on. So, yeah, I’m giving this one a pretty solid recommendation. I would love to see Don Wilson and R. Marcos Taylor team up for something else. Those two work very well together.
Final Recommendation: Don’t wake up in a bed with a strange woman who may or may not be the daughter of a local mobster. Also: Where the hell was Mr. McGetty while all of this was going on? 8/10.