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"Wrong": A Surreal Dog Search 

Wednesday, Mar 27 2013

Absurdism in feature-length films typically only works if there's a character for the audience to identify with, and the protagonist in Quentin Duplex's Wrong doesn't quite qualify. Dolph (Jack Plotnick) wakes up one morning to find his dog Paul is missing, and Dolph's passive search for Paul leads him into a dog-fostering cult led by a charismatic psychic (William Fichtner). But the film's title seems to be short for What's Wrong With This Picture?, as the story is not as important as all the wacky little details, such as clocks changing from 7:59 to 7:60, or the fire sprinklers constantly running in the office Dolph goes to every day even though he's long since been canned. And that's the problem: Sometimes Dolph acknowledges the weirdness around him, and sometimes he's just another off-kilter character. The lack of internal consistency makes it hard to care about him. Eastbound and Down's Steve Little shows up as pet detective Ronnie, and while we don't care much about him, either, Little is always entertaining. Wrong feels like a low-key companion to Don Coscarelli's recent John Dies at the End, and like that far-more-successful film, it also features white men adopting Chinese names for no good reason. Hopefully that's not a new indie movie trend, because, really, it's just not right.

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Sherilyn Connelly

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