The Do-Deca-Pentathlon Blu-ray Review
Two overly competitive middle-aged brothers battle out their differences by challenging one another in their childhood olympics of twenty-five events in THE DO-DECA-PENTATHLON. The winner will rightfully be crowned champion and claim their spot as the superior brother for eternity.
THE DO-DECA-PENTATHLON is a very low budget indie film from Jay and Mark Duplass, the writers and directors of recent films CYRUS and JEFF, WHO LIVES AT HOME. Mark Duplass recently gave a wonderful performance in SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED. The two definitely have a knack for writing some quirky comedic scenarios, finding humor in unusual places, but their drama could use a little work.
The idea of pitting two sloppy overweight brothers against each other is a brilliant comedic scenario. Mark (Steve Zissis), his wife Stephanie (Jennifer Lafleur) and their son Hunter visit Mark’s mother for his birthday, when his uninvited brother Jeremy (Mark Kelly) shows up ruining the weekend. The two brothers clearly have some animosity toward one another and the unmarried poker-playing Jeremy convinces tame family man Mark to restart their adolescent competition that had a glaring asterisk from their grandfather who interrupted the final tie-breaking event. Their mother declared the competition a tie and the two brothers have never been able to reconcile since.
Where THE DO DECA-PENTATHLON gets off track a bit is the secondary storyline about Mark’s married life. Stephanie is adamantly against him restarting the games due to health reasons and Mark resents her for not allowing him to have fun. This leads to unnecessary lying between the spouses and unreasonable over-the-top reactions from both parties. I’m not saying these reactions couldn’t happen, they just don’t fit within the realms of the smart comedy genre the film achieves so successfully. Every time it drifts to the drama, the film becomes awkward and uncomfortable.
If you can get past the very poor production quality due mostly to the extremely low budget, THE DO-DECA-PENTATHLON is surprising funny and quite charming. The performances from Kelly and Zissis as the two leads are excellent, portraying a natural love/hate relationship only brothers can know. As the two brothers passionately compete in swimming, arm wrestling, leg wrestling, laser tag and several other events, the intensity rises. The filmmakers key in on the sight gag of the out of shape men performing poorly with an unusual amount of drive. But even with those gem moments and the great premise, the drama struggles too much to keep the comedic flow going.
Video: (1080p, 1.85:1) The video quality isn’t the best but I blame the film production over the Blu-ray.
Audio: (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1) Again, the poor sound production on DO-DECA-PENTATHLON is probably more do to the insufficient funds for the indie comedy.
Meet The Real Brothers (5:31): Mark and Anton are the brothers who inspired the DO-DECA-PENTATHLON and they talk a little about the origins of the competition and then follow it up with a montage of them competing in events presently.
Rock, Paper, Scissors With The Real Brothers (4:51): Wow! This is a great insight to the intensity of their competitiveness.