'The FP' (English)
Directors: Brandon Trost, Jason Trost
Cast: Jason Trost, Lee Valmassy and Art Hsu
Running time: 83 minutes
One gets the sensation while watching the low-budget '80s parody ‘The FP’ that a bunch of people went trolling at a vintage clothing store one day, found some moon boots, acid-washed jean jackets and neon tank tops and then decided to make a movie about them.
‘The FP’ makes fun of several genres — dance movies, underdog sports flicks, glossy action pictures — and mixes them together in an attempt at kitschy cult infamy. But rather than crafting a movie that's so bad it's good, writer-director brothers Jason and Brandon Trost have come up with something that's just plain bad — and boring, and repetitive. Once you get past the initial, brief laugh factor of the hideous retro trappings — mullets and bandanas and boom boxes, we were so lame! — it's painfully obvious there isn't much left.
And this criticism comes from a proud child of the '80s. I loved ‘Breakin'‘ back then, but no one needs a remake of or an homage to ‘Breakin.'‘ We didn't even need ‘Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo,’ although it did provide us with the greatest sequel title ever.
The predominately white characters here talk in the sort of co-opted, clunky hip-hop slang that might have worked for a little while in a sketch but soon grows tiresome. There's also a certain N-word that gets tossed around casually which ‘The FP’ tries to justify by jokingly claiming it's an acronym. As an attempt at social commentary, this approach feels half-baked; as comedy, it just feels numbing. Their mantra — ‘We roll together, we die together’ — isn't all that amusing the first time, and the committed self-seriousness with which it's repeated doesn't sell it any more convincingly.
The film is set for no apparent reason in a futuristic wasteland of trailer parks, run-down shacks and warehouse parties known as ‘The FP’ (actually the Southern California mountain town of Frazier Park) where a turf war is raging between trash-talking dance gangs. Jason Trost stars as JTRO (pronounced JAY-tro), who loses his older brother, BTRO (Brandon Barrera) in a deadly ‘Beat-Beat Revelation’ video game showdown with their gold-toothed rival, L Dubba E (Lee Valmassy).
A year later, JTRO is dragged out of hiding to avenge his brother's death in a rematch, complete with multiple obligatory training montages. Nick Principe plays BLT, his spiritual, Mr. Miyagi-type mentor, while Art Hsu plays KC/DC, who serves as the competition's hyperactive emcee and annoying Greek chorus. Meanwhile, Caitlyn Folley co-stars as Stacy, the damaged party girl who's JTRO's kinda-sorta love interest. All the women here are drunk, trashy idiots, which might be meant as a pointed sendup of that convention, but it's not terribly encouraging.
Still, Brandon Trost, who also serves as cinematographer, has shot many films before including ‘Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance,’ ‘MacGruber’ and ‘Crank: High Voltage,’ and he gives everything an appropriately cold, metallic sheen. Sure, ‘The FP’ knows all the steps, but it has no soul.