THE FP: Dreadful Dialogue Damages Dance-Dance Dystopia
It was really hard for me to get past the dialogue in The FP. 75 percent of the time it’s downright atrocious. It’s like listening to someone who learned how to talk from watching Katt Williams stand-up. I understand it’s tongue-in-cheek but that didn’t make it any easier to sit through. It sucks too because apart from the party-pooping dialogue, I really dug everything else about Jason and Brandon Trost’s bizarro Dance-Dance Revolution dystopian gang film. The film is a great example of really talented people taking a totally ridiculous and silly concept, playing it straight the entire way through, and coming out the other end with a distribution deal and mountains of word-of-mouth hype. If only every other word out of those mouths wasn’t “…and shit” or “nigga” then I would have enjoyed The FP a bit more.
The only character who doesn’t talk like a jackass is the lead protagonist, JTRO, played by co-director and writer Jason Trost (whose IMDB bio is amazing, btw). This makes JTRO’s character the only sympathetic of the bunch and grants us some relief from the overwhelming amount of verbal vulgarity. JTRO’s brother BTRO (played by actual brother Brandon Trost – a veteran cinematographer) dies while representing the 248 turf of Frazier Park in a “Beat-Beat Revolution” competition against rival gang from the 245. L Dubba E (Lee Valmassy), the 245 leader, beats BTRO (because he dies mid-game) and jump forward a bit and L Dubba E has taken control of the FP. JTRO comes out of retirement to train and avenge his brother’s dance-dance death.
Valmassy’s L Dubbe E is the only character who delivers the dialogue without making me want to choke myself out. He’s got enough, I dunno, natural white-trashness to his whole vibe to make me buy it. His character looks and acts like he was pulled right out of a ’90s fighting game. Nearly all of the crew does, L Dubba E and JTRO are the obvious stand-outs. One character who didn’t have a lot of screen time that I enjoyed was Beat Box Busta Bill, played by James DeBello, who you might recognize as the hilarious squirrel-shooting asshole from Cabin Fever.
I didn’t mean to discourage you guys by shitting all over the dialogue – I’m sure a ton of people are going to get a kick out of, but it was just too much for me sometimes (am I getting old?). There really is a ton to enjoy in The FP. The costumes, put together by yet another Trost, their sister Sarah this time, are really sweet. I especially liked the giant snow boot stylee of JTRO. The music is fantastic and nails in the whole video game influence. And I gotta give it to the Trost Brothers, they pulled off one of the greatest final shots in recent film history. Possibly of all time.
Definitely don’t miss The FP if it’s playing near you. It’s a bold vision pulled off with bold panache and, honestly, you’re not going to see another Dance-Dance Revolution-based dystopian underdog gang movie again in this lifetime. The FP opens in limited release March 16 from Drafthouse Films. Check out theaters and dates here.