Abe (Jordan Gelber), a young man in his 30's, still lives with his parents, Phyllis (Mia Farrow) and Jackie (Christopher Walken). He works for his father, and suffers from depression unlike his brother Richard (Justin Bartha) who has already moved out of the house and has a successful job. It's no surprise that he's socially awkward, lonely, angry, bitter, overweight and single. When he meets Miranda (Selma Blair), a kindred spirit, at a party, he gradually befriends her in a feeble attempt to break free from his predicament. She lives a few hours away, though, and has an ex-boyfriend, Mahmoud (Aasif Mandvi) who she may still have feelings for. Donna Murphy plays, Abe's father's secretary who treats Abe very kindly in more ways than one.
Writer/director Todd Solondz has once again woven a dramedy that takes place in suburban hell. He has a knack for creating characters who are deeply flawed human beings, and he shows their flaws unflinchingly in ways that are equally disturbing and wickedly funny. Abe is certainly one of those characters from the get-go. You can't help but feel sorry for him no matter what he tries to do to get his life together--sadly, someone like him can actually exist in today's world, which makes the film all the more frightening. At times, though, watching him sink into further sadness and make more mistakes feels concurrently frustrating, tedious, overwhelming and painful. Fortunately, Solondz sprinkles a few dashes of quirky comedy that lightens up the mood a bit---it also helps that all the characters around him behave somewhat bizarely. Perhaps Solondz could have lessened the tedium if he were to include at least one relatively sane character to counterbalance all of the insanity and just plain weirdness found onscreen. Nonetheless, Dark Horse ultimately manages to be sad, poignant, funny and, above all, painfully honest.
Jaycee Chan, son of Jackie Chan, plays Jay, a Taiwanese security guard in charge of protecting a 400-year-old painting that's also a national treasure. When two thieves steal the painting, he goes on the hunt for them while bumping into Ocean (Xia Yu), a security guard from Beijing who got separated from the tour bus which the thieves happen to be on.
Unfortunately, what could have been a fun action thriller/comedy along the lines of Rush Hour or Lethal Weapon turns into a rather bland affair that lacks wit, thrills, clever plot twists or even memorable action scenes for that matter. Much of what transpires to Jay and Ocean feels comes across as silly and unsurprising. You'll ultimately feel underwhelmed and, worst of all, bored.
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