Deny Everything is a hilariously dark comedy from first-time director Michael Eden. The film tells the story of Frank and Jeff, two idiot friends who find themselves tasked with the disposal of a dead body. The best humor this film has to offer is situational, but the charmingly dimwitted leads do have their moments as well. Deny Everything is a well-made film that features a superb cast and a fun, if not somewhat clichéd premise. For a directorial debut, Eden should be commended for such an outstanding and proficient effort.
“…the three leads have tremendous chemistry with one another, and I’d love to see more of their misadventures in the future.”
The film opens with the character of Jeff (played by actor Dominic Leeder) comically dragging a dead body through a park. He arrives at Frank’s residence and invokes a previously understood pact revolving around a special one-time favor and a “no questions asked” stipulation. Frank (played by Patrick Knowles) is a borderline racist, selfish twat who seems emphatically reluctant to help his friend during his time of need. Soon, Jeff and Frank begin to plan the disposal of their dead body, eventually resulting in the arrival of Richie (played by the hilarious Spencer Burrows), another moronic friend who happily joins in on their misadventure. In pursuit of the brainless trio is Ashby (played by Laurence Kennedy), he’s a cold-blooded, terrifying Irish hitman with impure motivations of his own.
While each of the actors is enjoyable in their respective roles, the script does a disservice to the characters by failing to give them any semblance of camaraderie. I cannot, for the life of me, understand why any of these people would be friends with one another. Maybe if we were given insight into Jeff and Frank’s friendship outside of their wacky escapades I’d root for them to overcome their differences and unite in their common goals, but I kept finding myself thinking out loud “Why is Jeff friends with Frank? Frank is a borderline racist who’s terribly selfish.” And “Why is Frank friends with Jeff? Jeff is an idiot who is seemingly doing everything he can to ruin Frank’s life.” If there was some kind of connection between the characters, I could see why they stuck together through the film’s ridiculous premise. Admittedly, it is a minor gripe, but it did mess with my suspension of disbelief, yet despite all of that, the three leads have tremendous chemistry with one another, and I’d love to see more of their misadventures in the future. The character of Ashby makes for a compelling antagonist against the film’s three leads, his calm-demeanor and quiet rage steals the show when he’s on screen; this guy genuinely unsettles me. A highlight for me is Richie (played by Spencer Burrows), a third wheel that comes along later in the movie. His comedic timing and quirky attitude makes him a scene-stealer. There’s some fantastic allusions to his life that indicate attempting the disposal of dead bodies isn’t even in his top 10 list of weird s**t he’s done this week. Lines of dialogue hint that this character has seen and done some really dark things, but he takes everything in the film with a calm stride while the other two are more than quick to panic.
“I just wish there was some more context to their friendship that made me understand why they’d stick together through all these messes.”
Michael Eden’s Deny Everything is a great looking film with an amazing cast that, unfortunately, just doesn’t take care in establishing a satisfying relationship with the three leads. They come off as being three characters that hate each other stuck in a situation that could have been easily solved if not for unrealistic stupidity and convoluted choices made solely to propel the plot along. I just wish there was some more context to their friendship that made me understand why they’d stick together through all these messes. With that said, the humor is spot on, and the film drew some genuine laughs from me, especially the scene with Richie and the cricket bat. If you’re into black comedy and British humor, you’ll find a s**t ton to love here with Deny Everything.
Deny Everything (2017) Written and Directed: by Michael Eden. Starring: Dominic Leeder, Patrick Knowles, Spencer Burrows, Laurence Kennedy.
8 out of 10