Gregg (Ben Dietels) is a socially awkward guy who lives in a house he inherited from his dead grandmother. As he informs the picture of said dead grandmother, today is the day that he will finally ask out a waitress, Vanessa (Danielle Dietels), that he’s had a crush on; it’s such a momentous occasion that his best friend Steven (Ryan Lintner) finds it worthy of mentioning in his video blog, much to Gregg’s chagrin.
Things don’t go quite as planned, however, as Gregg wimps out and Vanessa informs him that today is her final day on the job. Before he can summon up the guts to try again, however, Vanessa is already gone from work and Gregg finds himself alone, save for Vanessa’s wallet, which she dropped in the parking lot. Now with her home address, Gregg sets out to return her wallet to her, a task he fails at almost immediately when the wallet is stolen from Gregg’s car. For the rest of the film, Gregg attempts to get the wallet back and get to Vanessa, while any and everything goes wrong around him.
For much of Captain Slickpants, it’s not so much rooting for Gregg as it is a morbid curiosity about whether or not he will finally find the guts to ask Vanessa out or simply cut her face off and wear it on his head. Because there’s socially awkward, and then there’s overwhelmingly creepy, and Gregg fits in the latter camp. Maybe it’s the mustache, but it could possibly also be his penchant for sniffing Vanessa and/or her wallet.
Which is the ultimate rub of the film, because if you don’t find Gregg interesting in the least, it’s hard to stay engaged with what’s going on. Part of you needs to want to know what happens next. Personally, what happens next never quite goes absurd enough for my tastes, and for the most part feels like a lot of wheel-spinning. And that lends to the feeling that the film takes a long time to accomplish very little.
I’m not going to pretend like I didn’t enjoy moments in this film, and for all of Ben Dietels’ facial creep-outs, I found him pretty entertaining in small doses. I don’t know that this needed to be a feature film; its strengths would be more apparent in a shorter format, especially considering the eventual end result. In its current form, by the end credits, you’re just happy it’s over, even if events are left a little open-ended.
In the end, Captain Slickpants has moments that are amusing and fun, but there are not enough of them to add up to anything too exceptional. It feels like a simple premise stretched far too thin. Where it goes for quirky, it ends up creepy; where it goes for creepy, it ends up feeling like a serial killer thriller is about to break out. All that said, while I can’t say I have any interest in watching this film again, I am curious to see what other films Ben Dietels has done, or is going to do. I think there could be something there but, again, in smaller doses that deliver a larger impact.
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