The Do-Deca-Pentathlon Reviews
The cast begins in that mumblecore mode of quietly overreacting to everything, but once the testosterone starts oozing, the characters jump out into four substantial dimensions.
So much of this oddly named but perfectly played dramedy feels real, from the revisits to VHS tapes in parents' basements to the way a family member's glance can trigger fight-or-flight responses.
Although it assumes a light, inoffensive tone, Do Deca is unquestionably the brothers' most personal film by virtue of its antiheroes, a pair of warring siblings seemingly inspired by the directors themselves.
"Do-Deca" can't always overcome the sensation that this is as much a no-budget as it is a no-holds-barred affair. But the sardonic slights and crafty insights are steadily there.
But if Cyrus succeeded as a marriage of established (that is to say, bankable) Hollywood performers and the already codified mumblecore aesthetic, The Do-Deca-Pentathlon comes off as pointless retread.
The picture is strangely anticlimactic, despite highlighting numerous sporting events and a toxic domestic atmosphere, content to leisurely resolve discontent that feels like it deserves a more forceful approach.
The wisest choice of all is to cast talented unknown actors, who make these characters and the absurd goings-on feel that much more real--and hence all the more funny.
A lot of fun as a comedy of men behaving badly, the Duplass brothers' film also digs into masculine norms and methods of communication and respect with a lot of recognizable truth.