Review: Step Right Up

Written and directed by Kris Salvi, Glen Tavern’s coffee maker breaks, lucky for him Big Dave’s (Kris Salvi) coffee maker emporium is selling new coffee makers. Now Glen not only has to make it to Big Dave’s but also face the craziness which is, the outside world. Starring: Justin Thibault, Jen Drummond, Vac Harris, Paul Kandarian, Marc Powers, Gabrielle Rosson and Emily Tullock.

Everyone has that one simple pleasure that helps them get through the day and for a lot of people, like Glen (Justin Thibault), it’s a cup of coffee. Step Right Up plays on the idea of what happens when that simple pleasure is taken away and the lengths you’ll go to, to get it back. It’s akin to a classic slacker adventure, stumbling around, bursting with energy and meeting eccentric, odd people along the way. Although at times it also feels like director Kris Salvi is adding in nods to filmmakers like Tarantino or Burton. However, that’s not to say it’s flashy, it’s very much down to earth and existing in an everyday world, with a few added exaggerations.

Though it runs slightly long for a short film coming in at thirty minutes, it surprisingly manages to pace itself out well to never feel over extended. A big part of that is its sense of humour, rather than a constant attempt to be funny, the humour is well spread and blended with that theme of adventure. It follows the path of trying to complete a simple task and it going extravagantly wrong, it holds a key end goal and finds plenty of fun tangents along the way. It consistently has something to add and has a confident, smoothly flowing tone throughout.

Justin Thibault leads the story well, creating a character filled with frustration and rage, wrapped in selfishness which will always add an extra challenge in making them likable but Thibault walks that line well. Glen could be seen as annoying, strange or unhinged but he also has plenty of qualities that make him easily watchable, he’s harsh but not inherently duplicitous or sinister. He’s just a simple guy being wound up by a very bad day and Thibault captures that well to hold onto a relatable feel, even with the film’s exaggeration. Then there’s a whole host of supporting characters that add to his off-kilter adventure, which feels familiar in a great way.

Step Right Up is a funny, eccentric and entertaining adventure of what happens when you deny someone their morning cup of coffee. Kris Salvi’s writing and direction hit the right balance of everyday and exaggerated, the cinematography may not have a lot to add remaining in an average arena but it does still work. Justin Thibault provides a very enjoyable lead who’s somehow ridiculous and yet relatable, and the rest of the film is filled with a ragtag ensemble of fun weirdos.

Verdict: ✯✯✯✯ | 8/10

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