Review by Adam Donato
Big Gold Brick is written and directed by Brian Petsos as his first feature length film. Petsos has directed several live action shorts, commonly teaming up with Oscar Isaac, who receives top billing for this movie. The lead role of Samuel is played by Emory Cohen. Samuel is a writer who recounts the story of his book in which he was run over by a car and commissioned to write a biography about the driver. Andy Garcia plays the driver who grows an attachment to Samuel as he lets him into his life and stays with his family.
Sometimes going into a movie blind is great because there are zero expectations. That being said, some movies require some information to give the story context. For example, Big Gold Brick is supposed to be a cerebral comedy. At least, that’s what the poster says. The movie is absurd at places, but at no point is the movie outwardly funny. Samuel starts the movie out floating in space. At Garcia’s house, Samuel has regular conversations with a Santa toy. Not to mention, Samuel has some type of powers to manipulate things. There’s a high school basketball player that swears to have pink-eye after going to a local dessert stand. Just because you’re weird and quirky, it does not mean you’re funny.
No disrespect to Cohen, but he is in a different movie than everybody else. It’s actually quite astonishing watching this movie with so many big name people in it. Already listed are Isaac and Garcia, but also living in the house are Megan Fox and Lucy Hale. Cohen is a legitimate actor who has done things of note, but seems like this is his bold debut. His character is supposed to be crazy to an extent and the tone is very wacky, but his character does not work in any way, shape, or form. It’s hard to blame him because he’s probably just doing exactly what he was told. At the end of the day, this is Petsos's fault.
Garcia is the better half of this duo, in part because his character is so subdued compared to Cohen. His life is so mysterious and it’s enjoyable seeing him try to rehabilitate this man while also dealing with his family and the other people in his life. Isaac is barely in the movie, but when he is, he really goes for it. Just like with Cohen, the actor in this scenario has a bold take, but this movie is not good enough to make it justified. This is less detrimental to the movie as Isaac is in the movie so little and doesn’t show up until the movie is almost over. Speaking of almost over, this movie is over two hours long and is an absolute chore to get through.
Comedy is subjective and someone with a different sense of humor might really enjoy this. Someone who knew this was a comedy going into it might enjoy it more as well. It was a surprise finding out this movie was supposed to be funny. It's a total waste of a pretty well named cast. It is the official recommendation of this review that this movie not be sought out for it is, in a word, bad.
Big Gold Brick is now available on VOD.