Set in the 1970s, Easy Does It chronicles the cross-country trek of small-time criminals Jack (Ben Matheny) and Scotti (Matthew Paul Martinez) as they search for treasure and freedom on the wild, open road. Taking nods from B-movie classics and grindhouse adventure films, the film follows the two best friends as they evade the police and mob enforcers as their crime spree fuels their quest for a new life in Southern California. Branded on “wanted posters” straight out of the Old West, the two almost famous criminals run scam after scam taking a hostage, robbing gas stations, and making their way nearly 2200 miles. Still, sooner or later, luck runs out for our heroes in this action-comedy.
Opening with Jack receiving a postcard informing him of the death of his mother and the possibility of buried treasure in San Clemente, Jack enlists the help of his constant partner in crime Scotti to escape the small-town life and follow their dreams for greatness. However, before Jack and Scotti can depart, they are intercepted by local crime boss “King George” (Linda Hamilton) and her baseball-bat-wielding daughter “Blue Eyes” (Susan Gordan). “King George” informs the two friends that she and “Blue Eyes” will be joining our two outlaws on their journey and will be taking the treasure for themselves. After giving “King George” the slip, Jack and Scotti find themselves on the run from cops and criminals alike with thousands of miles between them and safety.
“Jack enlists the help of his constant partner in crime Scotti to escape the small-town life and follow their dreams for greatness…”
The odyssey continues as the two criminals take Collin (Cory Dumsnil), a store patron, hostage in a robbery gone wrong. However, after a short time on the road, Collin decides to join in hopes of escaping his mundane nine-to-five life. While on the road, “the Red, White, and Blue Bandit” and “the Apache Warrior” – their outlaw names – draw the attention of every law officer in the Southwest. Climaxing in a desert showdown between Blue Eyes and the boys, the film exudes classic baseball and classic western themes from start to credits.
The chemistry between Ben Matheny and Matthew Paul Martinez is unmistakable throughout the film. The two bicker and scheme like best friends from long before the days of Jack and Scotti’s criminal enterprises. Jack and Scotti are, by no means, meant to be world-class criminals. When they talk about robberies or run-ins with the police, they sound more like high school students bragging to their friends than hardened criminals, but it adds so much flavor to the story and gives the film most of its charm. The film does an excellent job of giving the story a feel of a classic drive-in car adventure, so much so that Jack’s classic car is nearly a fourth member of their gang of outlaws. These themes of friendship and the open road paired with a Spaghetti western make the film a fun and fast-paced adventure, in search of more than treasure but striking out on your own in a crazy world.
I found this film to be a fun ride from coast to coast. The soundtrack highlights each haphazard robbery and gives life to some of the softer moments where characters begin to open up to one another. However, I will fully admit your enjoyment of this film is largely dependent on how charming you find Jack and Scotti. There are moments the two verges on a scaled-down Jay & Silent Bob or a macho Thelma & Louise, but for the majority of the film, the two come across as semi-competent friends trying to talk their way out of detention or – in this case – death. The film takes a while to get into, but if you go in expecting a throwback to grindhouse adventure films or a Black Keys-esque western, this will be worth the watch.
"…chronicles the cross-country trek of small-time criminals...as they search for treasure and freedom on the wild, open road."