The Opening Act

The Opening Act ★★★

Everyone in this film is pretty solid. Even Alex Moffat's douchey hybrid of Anthony Jeselnik and Dane Cook is charming enough that his regular hookups and many friendships make sense. Everyone, that is, with the exception of Yang, who is the protagonist. He's flat. His journey is arguably the crux of the movie, and he's so basic everyman that there's nothing on which to grasp. Granted, yeah, it gives him a serious amount of redemption at the end, but otherwise, there's no there, there. He's just a cardboard cutout with so few connections to anyone other than his equally paper-thin girlfriend that you have no idea why he's pursuing this so strongly, other than a silent montage which opens Byrne's film. And what's funny is that Yang's standup is GOOD, but we don't know him well enough to see it in context. It's like he exists in a bubble or something. But, yeah: even Bill Burr works as a shitty boss. It's fun, the standup is WAY solid, but watching The Opening Act is almost as much a struggle as Yang's hero's tale. The payoff's worth it in the end, but just barely.

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