Review: THE DEATH OF DICK LONG Is An Off-Kilter Crime Comedy

FIRST IMPRESSION

The Death of Dick Long is an entertaining, and incredibly odd, amateur crime caper film full of comedy, solid acting, and vaping.
Writing
Directing
Acting
Technical Merit
- Advertisement -

From its title alone, The Death of Dick Long stakes its claim as an incredibly off kilter crime caper. Taking place in rural Alabama, two friends attempt to cover up a night that gets a little too weird; yet overall feels perfectly in line with the film as a whole. Directed by Daniel Scheinert, one half of the Swiss Army Man duo, this amateur crime film feels like a less chaotic and visceral Good Time. The approach taken is one that is much more light hearted and overtly comical, even if the payoff is one that’s partially disturbing and oddly brushed over.

From Papa Roach concerts and Nickelback to constant vaping, the filmmakers seem to be teasing the line between absurd and flat out parody. Yet it’s this fine line of humor that works incredibly well in the first half, partially because the audience is regularly one step ahead of the characters. While this may be a sign of shoddy writing in most crime films, it feels intentional in The Death of Dick Long. At times it even feels as if the film is poking fun at the crime genre as a whole. And what works best is that even though the characters are never as smart as they think they are, the finale is still unpredictable, mainly due to the absurdity; and even then, the absurd situation of the film is earned through its runtime.

The Death of Dick Long
Daniel Scheinert (L) and Andre Hyland (R) as Dick Long and Earl Wyeth in Daniel Scheinert’s THE DEATH OF DICK LONG.

Unfortunately, the allure of these constant revelations feel as if they fall short once the big reveal comes midway through the film. The characters that we’ve been following deeper and deeper into a forest of lies now feel stagnant, which is upsetting considering how much everything else has been built up. Still, the latter half of this film does offer some great moments, even if they’re not all fully earned. What’s most upsetting about this film isn’t that there’s anything necessarily bad about it, but rather, it simply leaves the viewer wanting more.

- Advertisement -

With this yearning however, the problem arises of messing with the pacing, which is handled very well. For a film that goes incredibly left field, it doesn’t overstay its welcome while portraying this quirky Southern town. Full of zany characters that truly come across as bumbling amateurs or officials that are simply not used to doing this much work in investigations, the film does a great job of highlighting a multitude of lives in its short runtime. This small town feels incredibly lived in even though we only see bits and pieces of it. Everything from the local bar to an elementary school, the world of The Death of Dick Long does not stop revolving when the scene shifts focus. Instead, the investigations among characters actively continues, until they culminate for a tense penultimate scene.

At one point in the film, a character utters the phrase, “I guess we didn’t totally think that one through”. This should honestly be the tagline of the film. The Death of Dick Long is reminiscent of Good Time in the sense that lies continue to pour out of our protagonists. As the story becomes more entangled among the lies, explanations begin to make less sense; and once the lies crumble upon themselves, the film quickly wraps up its loose ends. While this film is more based in reality than Swiss Army Man, that does not mean it lacks the same level of oddity as the film, albeit in a completely different manner.

A24 is releasing The Death of Dick Long in select theaters on September 27th.

- Advertisement -

TRENDING THIS WEEK

9 Badass Moments with Vignette Stonemoss | Prime Video

» Watch Carnival Row now exclusively with your Prime membership: http://bit.ly/PrimeVideoCarnivalRow » SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/PrimeVideoSubscribe About Carnival Row: Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne star in Carnival Row, a Victorian fantasy world filled with mythological immigrant creatures. Feared by humans, they are forbidden to live, love, or fly with freedom. But even in darkness, hope lives, as…

The BEST Advice from The Boys | Prime Video

"Here's the truth...anyone who tells you they know the answers is lying..." The supes are serving the up great advice and honesty in this compilation. Which piece of advice from The Boys is giving you motivation today? » Watch The Boys now exclusively with your Prime membership: http://bit.ly/PrimeVideoTheBoys » SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/PrimeVideoSubscribe About The Boys: The…

Legacies | The Real Cost | The CW

Not even the monsters are as scary as cigarettes. Presented by The Real Cost. Stream Legacies free on The CW App! SUBSCRIBE: http://go.cwtv.com/YTSubscribe About LEGACIES: The show centers around Hope Mikaelson, the vampire-witch-werewolf hybrid daughter of Hayley Marshall-Kenner and Klaus Mikaelson, and her time at a school for the supernatural called The Salvatore School for…

We Are the Dream (2020): Cole Provost “How Are We Changing the World?” (Clip) | HBO

Cole Provost performs "How Are We Changing the World?" at The Oakland MLK Oratorical Fest. Watch We Are the Dream, now streaming on HBO. #MLK #WeAreTheDream #HBO #HBODocs Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: https://goo.gl/wtFYd7 Don’t have HBO? Order Now: https://itsh.bo/GetHBONow Get More HBO: Get HBO GO: https://play.hbogo.com Like on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hbodocs Follow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/HBODocs…

Outlander | Love Teaser | STARZ

Outlander love spans time and place. Get ready for the Season 5 premiere on February 16 with the STARZ App, the only place to catch up on all seasons of Outlander. #Outlander #STARZ Watch Outlander now on the STARZ App: http://starz.tv/WatchSTARZYT Subscribe now for more Outlander content: http://bit.ly/1kalhP0 Like Outlander on Facebook:http://starz.tv/OutlanderFacebookYT Follow Outlander on…

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow | Season 5 Episode 5 | Mortal Khanbat Promo | The CW

Stream new episodes of DC's Legends of Tomorrow Wednesdays, free only on The CW App: http://go.cwtv.com/genLEGyt SUBSCRIBE: http://go.cwtv.com/YTSubscribe About DC’S LEGENDS OF TOMORROW: The Legends continue their new mission to protect the timeline from temporal aberrations - unusual changes to history that spawn potentially catastrophic consequences. When Nate, the grandson of J.S.A. member Commander Steel,…

We Are the Dream (2020): Amiya Robinson “My Black” (Clip) | HBO

Amiya Robinson performs "My Black" at The Oakland MLK Oratorical Fest. Watch We Are the Dream, now streaming on HBO. #MLK #WeAreTheDream #HBO #HBODocs Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: https://goo.gl/wtFYd7 Don’t have HBO? Order Now: https://itsh.bo/GetHBONow Get More HBO: Get HBO GO: https://play.hbogo.com Like on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hbodocs Follow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/HBODocs Like on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hbo…

Inside The World of Outlander | Episode 1 | Season 5

Showrunner Matthew B. Roberts and Executive Producer Maril Davis reveal more about Episode 501: "The Fiery Cross." These behind-the-scenes glimpses contain SPOILERS. Catch up on Outlander anytime on the STARZ App. #Outlander #STARZ Watch Outlander now on the STARZ App: http://starz.tv/WatchSTARZYT Subscribe now for more Outlander content: http://bit.ly/1kalhP0 Like Outlander on Facebook:http://starz.tv/OutlanderFacebookYT Follow Outlander on…
Alex Papaioannou
Alex Papaioannou
Born and raised in New York. I've always loved all things pop culture, but my true passion lies within film. And the only thing that I love more than watching movies is writing about them! Some close runner-ups are: food, the Yankees, and hip-hop.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here