Review by Camden Ferrell
The Florida Man has been a widely known meme for the better part of a decade. It usually pertains to an odd crime or circumstance involving somebody in Florida, and the feature film debut of writer/director Tyler Falbo captures this essence brilliantly. Postal is an absurd and fast-paced comedy that showcases a brand-new artistic talent despite its forgivable flaws.
This film is based on a true story that occurred in Jacksonville in 2017. Phillip Tress is a hopeless romantic who buys an engagement ring in order to propose to the girl of his dreams on his trip to Hawaii. However, the shipping company is unable to get him his package on time for his flight. Once he calls customer service for assistance, his life begins to unravel in increasingly berserk ways. This lesser-known Florida Man story is very interesting and serves as a fun premise for the film.
Falbo’s screenplay is unhinged to a fault. While this style of writing is great for the frenzied story it’s telling, it can sometimes lose control and focus. However, this is a minor problem, and this dialogue-heavy screenplay manages to maintain interest and mystery over its runtime. It’s not particularly insightful, but it’s a fun and energetically written screenplay.
Michael Shenefelt leads the film as Phillip, and he gives a fairly strong job as the unpredictably impulsive character. He understands the craziness of the premise, and he doubles down on that in his performance. It’s not perfect, but it’s promising, and show some great comedic chemistry with co-star Eric Vega who is a fun addition to the film.
To the film’s credit, Falbo does not waste a single second in his debut. Every scene and line of dialogue serves a purpose. It’s tightly constructed and doesn’t have any slow moments. He impressively maintains momentum throughout, and he manages to deliver a fairly somber ending. As much as we love to laugh and be shocked by these stories, there’s a melancholy human aspect that’s present, and Falbo managed to capture this without undermining the comedy in his movie.
There’s a lot of promising aspects in this film, but there are still some areas in which the film struggles. In certain scenes, it almost feels like there’s too much happening in terms of cinematography. While most of the framing and movement of the camera is necessary, there are moments where the camerawork is aggressive to a fault.
In addition to this, even though its pacing is strong, there are a lot of edits and transitions that draw too much attention to themselves. It seems very much like techniques that are flashy but not quite essential. These are more stylistic details with which I took fault, but for better or worse, it certainly seems like Falbo executed his vision effectively.
Postal is a fun and extremely promising debut that deserves some credit and attention. It takes a little known but still engaging Florida Man story and adapts it into 80 minutes of fast-paced physical comedy. It may not be for everyone, but it’s worth checking out.
Postal is available on VOD June 8.