Movie Review – 3, 2, 1… Frankie Go Boom (2012)

3, 2, 1… Frankie Go Boom, 2012.

Directed by Jordan Roberts.
Starring Charlie Hunnam, Lizzy Caplan, Chris O’Dowd, Ron Perlman and Chris Noth.


Frank Bartlett has been tortured, embarrassed, and humiliated by his brother Bruce – usually on film – his entire life. Now that Bruce is finally off drugs and has turned his life around, things should be different. They are not…

In 3, 2, 1… Frankie Go Boom Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy) stars as Frankie, an aspiring writer who had a rough childhood thanks to his brother, Bruce (Chris O’Dowd). Over the years Bruce humiliated Frankie as much as he could, catching almost everything on film and turning them into short films. Now all grown up, Bruce is graduating from rehab for his drug problem and Frankie is coming down to show his support despite still holding a grudge against his brother for all the years of being humiliated. Outside of the graduation Frankie meets a Lassie (Lizzy Caplan) who he takes back to his parent’s house. They try to have sex but things don’t go well for Frankie – he just can’t seem to get it up. After hours of trying they finally succeed and do the deed, only to find out the next morning that Bruce had videotaped everything leading up to them eventually having sex. The video falls into the hands of Jack (Chris Noth), a recovering alcoholic actor who is planning to work with Bruce, and he just happens to be Lassie’s father. Now Frankie and Bruce have to get the tape back before Jack has a chance to see what it contains.

Right off the bat, I’m not a big fan of movies where an item gets into the wrong hands and we have to watch our leads go on a wild goose chase to get it back. It’s been done in plenty of comedies before and while it can make for some mild laughs (see Road Trip) it usually ends up making the entire movie a mess. With Frankie Go Boom, it makes for a hit and miss movie. While it started out amusing, as things progressed, it started to hit notes I didn’t want it to hit. You can see how everything involving the tape is going to play out so the movie being cliché doesn’t help it too much.

Not everything here is cliché however and the biggest strength of the movie is the cast. Charlie Hunnam is a likable lead as Frankie and makes you root for his character, even though it feels like you shouldn’t. Chris O’Dowd is proving in every role that he’s one best upcoming actors in comedy today. After good performances in Bridesmaids and Friends With Kids, O’Dowd puts in another humorous performance. Lizzy Caplan is always a welcome face in any movie. She can easily make a movie better just by being in it and here it’s no different. While all the main players give good performances it’s Ron Perlman, Hunnam’s Sons of Anarchy co-star, as Phyllis, a man turned woman computer genius that steals the show.

3, 2, 1… Frankie Go Boom provides a good few laughs and the cast here works very well. It’s all a little too familiar and yet oddly different in the way it transitions from scene to scene. Overall, it’s worth checking out, but I wouldn’t say more than a rental.

Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★  

Jake Peffer

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