Ron Perlman and Charlie Hunnam of “Sons of Anarchy” dancing romantically, Chris Noth brandishing guns and a pot-bellied pig, and Lizzy Caplan and Chris O’Dowd doing anything should be more than enough to justify “Frankie Go Boom,” but then writer-director Jordan Roberts oversells every gag until the whole enterprise gets stinking drunk on its own wackiness. Two decades ago, this would be one of those rictus-smile “Why aren’t you laughing yet?” comedies starring Bette Midler, but now the flailing and mugging comes with a viral video plot.
Frank (Hunnam) spent his entire childhood being embarrassed on camera by his dysfunctional brother Bruce (O’Dowd), a recovering cocaine addict with delusional dreams of directorial stardom. Bruce hopes that Jack (Noth channeling Tom Sizemore), a washed-up actor and rehab buddy, can make his dreams come true, but Bruce continually falls back on his old habits, capturing Frank and Lassie (yes, “Lassie,” played by Caplan) in a compromising position and, through a series of mishaps, accidentally posting it to a viral porn site. Increasingly weary of his awful family and their obsessions, Frank must find a way to pull the video and make things right with Lassie.
Previously saddled with the marketing-resistant title “3, 2, 1 … Frankie Go Boom,” there was every reason to believe this would be a hidden gem: Hunnam proved early in his career he could pull off comedy on Judd Apatow’s “Undeclared,” Caplan and O’Dowd are experts and Perlman’s comedy chops are criminally underutilized. But Roberts has everyone trying too hard — like Jack’s potbellied pig in a pool, this comedy practically drowns in flop sweat. Not even Perlman as a transsexual computer hacker can keep “Frankie Go Boom” from going splat, and that’s saying something.
As for extras, there’s a featurette on the aforementioned submerged porker and deleted scenes, but that’s more generosity than anyone really needs.
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