Here’s a fun screwball comedy in uniform in the classic style of CaddyShack, Stripes, Animal House, and Tex Avery cartoons! Joshua Moise’s Medal of Victory is deadpan over the top ridiculousness the likes of which are rare these days.
Army fuck-ups Floyd (Will Blomker) and Stu (Mason Hill) break out of the stockade after accidentally sending nuclear bomb triggers in a shipment to Malawi that was supposed to be food for starving children, causing an international incident and setting off a series of events that leads them back to Floyd’s hometown of Townville in anywhere, USA. They are mistaken for war heroes and become embroiled in various scandals and the unfinished business with old enemies and lovers that hometowns in movies always have.
“A mix of opera and classical music perfectly sets the tone for the antics…”
Plausibly deniable winks to other comedies abound. Moise has seen all the old ones from the aforementioned to Clerks and Porky’s and everything in between.
A mix of opera and classical music perfectly sets the tone for the antics that ensue and does give it a Wile E Coyote and that crazy desert bird vibe.
I enjoyed the lack of smirking, smarmy irony that is the hallmark of millennial comedies (yeah, I went there). These characters aren’t characters making fun of characters; they are just doing the stupid shit they do in the silly framework they inhabit without an ironic step-back distance. It was refreshingly brain damaged to just take the ride along for nutty hijinks. A few serious moments are thrown in to anchor the story into something like gravitas. A bit.
Given the low budget the production quality hangs together well enough to get it just over the bar. The level of violence, gore, and juvenile humor means it’s only suitable for older teens and adults (ah, there’s the missing irony).
Moving along at a lively pace with congenial roguish characters and exaggerated villains, shouting out old favorites along the way Medal of Victory delivers what you’d expect.
Medal of Victory (2016) Written and Directed by: Joshua Moise. Starring: Will Blomker, Anna Martemucci, Mason Hill, Jack O’Connell.
7 out of 10