Directors: Adam Beamer, Evan Beamer
Cast: Michael Gladis, Ethan Embry, Ving Rhames, Vinnie Jones, Cary Elwes
Watch In Security online in the UK: TalkTalk TV / iTunes / Amazon Instant Video / Google Play
“They’re all out there. The burglars. The rapers. The robbers. The burglars.”
That’s security salesman Bruce (Gladis) to a local resident who doesn’t believe they need security. That’s the problem with Bruce and his best friend Kevin’s (Embry) business: they live in a town with no crime. The solution? Start robbing people.
It’s a neat premise for a comedy and writer-directors Adam and Evan Beamer waste no time in lining up the jokes. But In Security lives up to its title in more ways than one when the film shifts tone halfway through, a hint that maybe it’s not as confident about itself as its lead duo.
Nabbing jewellery all over the neighbourhood, the imcompetent criminals soon find themselves robbing the wrong guy: minor local psycho Josh. Things take a turn for the dark, a contrast to the day-glo pratfalls and silly gags of the first 30 minutes. The weird part? That’s when the film works best.
Played by The Princess Bride’s Cary Elwes, Josh is one nasty piece of work. The only thing he likes more than threatening to cut off people’s fingers? Kitchen appliances. Tying up their accomplice, he gruffly smashes computers and splashes blood while reciting the names of gadgets.
When Elwes is off-screen, the laugh count drops considerably, but Ethan Embry is a likeable screen presence, reciting the whole story with a knowing narration. Michael Gladis, meanwhile, has all the charisma of Mad Men’s Paul Kinsey, clearly enjoying the chance to play dumb. Think Danny McBride, but less annoying.
Together, their partnership carries the script (co-written with Craig Hildebrand) over the uneven patches, while Adam and Evan Beamer direct everything with a deadpan style; a straight-faced approach that balances out the bizarre array of cameos from people such as Ving Rhames and Vinnie Jones, who pop up in skits throughout.
Helmed by relative unknowns and boasting a forgettable title, it would be easy to overlook In Security, which was released straight-to-VOD/DVD in the UK. But its uncertain tone gives way to a surprisingly funny black comedy that compares well to many big screen releases. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen The Dread Pirate Roberts say words like “Infini-Slice” and “Mega-Chop”.