Thursday, January 5, 2017

Paying Mr. McGetty (2016)

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Tyrrell can’t remember last night… but today is a day he won’t forget!

Movie Review:

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Tyrrell (R. Marcos Taylor, Steven Seagal’s Code of Honor) is about to have a bad day. Waking up hungover from a night of gambling to a call from his girlfriend about overdue rent when he is in the bed of another woman is not the ideal start. It escalates quickly when he leaves the motel with said woman and is photographed by - what turns out to be - a mob informant, who then dobs Tyrrell in for having an unauthorised night out with the mob bosses’ daughter! And the obvious and sensible reaction to this state of affairs is to of course send not one but two hitmen out after him; the second being none other than Don “The Dragon” Wilson playing hitman Shota Kabu. All this combined with the fact he is now running late for his delivery day job makes for Tyrrell’s bad day becoming worse.

I’m not entirely sure what I think of this one. It’s a bit disjointed and at times, plain weird. Scenes change constantly and quickly like we are in a 90’s Tarantino film. However when you distill it down, the film’s plot is a basic “a day in the life of Tyrrell” device, or more accurately “Tyrrell tries to avoid getting his arse handed to him over and over”. The first hitman, Rocco, I took an instant dislike to as he beat up a barista for serving the wrong milk in his coffee. This is when I saw how the comedy in the film was going to play out which for me, mostly didn’t work. I’m a very hard guy to please with comedies so don’t take my opinion as gospel here, but only one real scene got a laugh from me.

The action quotient is unfortunately pretty low and entirely hand-to-hand. There’s a couple of ten second brawls here and there but nothing to write home about. Tyrrell starts off being pretty bad and/or lucky with his fights, but after a (very weird) epiphany with a strange hippie dude in an unconscious dream, the subsequent fights gets a little more interesting. An entirely random scene where he thwarts a convenience store robbery is the best display of Tyrrell’s skills in the whole film. He later has another fight in a women’s hairdresser that shows how he pales in comparison to Shota, but he certainly gives his all.

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Don’s Shota is the badass here of course, and his fights are those of a well trained professional - though again, quite short. Even the final fight is so short that Shota comments “twenty seconds - that’s longer than I thought it would take”. The film doesn’t just focus on Tyrrell’s bad day, we also get to see how Shota goes about his hits and the underworld he lives in on a daily basis, which I appreciated. 

I usually don’t comment on such things, but I really disliked the music in this film. Rap and autotuned-to-death R&B are not my thing and not only does it feature predominantly in the soundtrack (and doesn’t always fit the scene it’s used in, either) but Tyrrell has side gig managing rappers or something that is shoe-horned into the main plot. We visit a recording studio multiple times where Tyrrell gets pissed at the lack of progress on a recording. I think these scenes were trying to demonstrate that Tyrrell is a passionate man, but they seemed out of place to me.

One thing I have got to elaborate on: the very weird hippie epiphany scene. After a Terminator style chase with Shota, Tyrrell passes out on the ground and has some sort of vision involving himself and a hippie Jedi master who reinvigorates through magic (?!) Tyrrell’s forgotten powers of martial arts. This was such a strange scene and I really couldn’t work out why they went down this path. We already have Tyrrell as a delivery man come record producer, throwing  former martial artist in there was a bit odd. I’d have preferred he just Bruce Campbell’d his way through the fights, making it up as he went along. The ‘revelation’ didn’t help him in the fight with Shota, anyway.

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This is the second Michael Baumgarten directed film we have reviewed here in recent times, and not coincidentally the second Don Wilson film as well. Baumgarten and Don were both involved in The Martial Arts Kid, a film I gave a positive review to recently. I have to say I far preferred The Martial Arts Kid to Paying Mr. McGetty, probably because it was played straight. As I mentioned above, comedy is something that only works for me when the stars are truly in alignment and in this film they weren’t for me. Most of the actors in the film outside the leads are relative newcomers, but everybody acquitted themselves just fine - no complaints in that regard.

The first act of the film I wasn’t really digging, but it picked up a bit in the second act when things started making a bit more sense. I was able to start relating to Tyrrell and his crappy day that got worse and worse and I was able to respect Shota and his choices that resulted in making the third act of the film more interesting. However, overall when looked as a whole the film didn’t completely work for me. The action is very short and too infrequent to really call this an action film (the final fight is over with in twenty seconds). It’s a quirky comedy cross drama story. Thankfully the drama part was decent and improved as the story progressed, and the last scene between Tyrrell and his girlfriend is quite touching and feels well-deserved after the terrible day that Tyrrell just had!

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The very opening scene shows us early on that Don is boss. Sneaking up behind a man shaving, who then pleads for his life and the safety of his child, gets destroyed by Don when he pulls the rug out from under him that knock him dead into the bathtub. Ruthless Don then quips “You don’t have a kid”.



  1. Well, according to legend it was George Burns who said, "Dying is easy, Comedy is hard!". I don't usually appear in comedies but this one appealed to me because I was offered the "Bad Guy" role and it's not something I normally play. After over 30 years as an actor, I now know why actors enjoy portraying different types of characters. It was fun!

    1. Hi Don! Thanks for stopping by. Your role as Shota was definitely the highlight of the film for me, and it was certainly good to see you in such a different type of movie. George Burns was definitely onto something with that statement; comedy is ALL in the timing!