Nobody Can Cool Movie Review
Written by Joel Harley
Released by Left Films
Written and Directed by Dpyx
2015, 92 minutes, Rated 15 (UK)
DVD released on February 22nd 2016
Catherine Annette as Susan
Nick Principe as Len
Nikki Bohm as Gigi
David Linski as David
'Nobody can cool?' What does that even mean, though? A series of words that make sense individually, but not altogether as a sentence. A gloomy home invasion/hostage movie with no budget, Tarantino or Tim Roth, Elmore Leonard this ain't.
The premise is simple, and familiar: bickering young couple Susan and David take off for the weekend to an isolated cabin in the woods. Here they happen across a trio of similarly bickering criminals, one fatally wounded, one pregnant, one an idiot, trying to crack the safe within. Like From Dusk Till Dawn and the Mother's Day remake before it, Nobody Can Cool (ugh) finds these hardened criminals holed up with the poor innocents, both trying to outwit the other. A series of attempted escapes, reversals and Mexican stand-offs, then, all hampered by the fact that the audience knows full well that nobody can escape until somewhere around the ninety minute mark.
Shaking things up a little is the criminals waiting for a fourth member of their faction (like Waiting for Godot, except he turns up) and the dark secret behind Susan and David's little getaway (it's not that interesting). The interplay between these disparate individuals is mildly engaging, but not enough so that I didn't spend the whole time waiting for some big twist to emerge, or for the lot of them to be attacked by a crazed farmer, ala The Cottage. This did not happen. Nobody Can Cool is exactly what it appears to be, a dark thriller in which four people (and occasionally five) shout at each other until it's time for everybody to go home or die.
Like so many other budget features, the lack of cash somehow translates to a languid pace and no real sense of urgency, even as it strives for tension and scares. The actors try their hardest, but the characters are a whiny, unlikeable lot, and none of them are accomplished enough to make that work. Nick Principe comes closest as laid-back Len, but even that is mostly his colourful shirt doing most of the heavy lifting. It has to be partly intentional that the criminals come across as more sympathetic than their hostages, but that doesn't excuse how awful David and Susan are, even while literally staring down the barrel of a gun. It comes as something as a relief when Len finally tapes Susan's mouth shut (but not her hands – suggesting her too stupid to just reach up and peel it off for ten whole minutes) giving us a bit of peace and quiet and the film its most arresting imagery.
It certainly strives for cool, but this cheap thriller never really achieves it. If anything, it's quite the opposite. I don't know about 'nobody' but clearly not everybody can.