The Best Laid Plans Image

Happily, The Best Laid Plans has more positives than just 75% of its core cast. The story is well-thought-out, as these characters just don’t rush out to grab Tommy then and there. Of course, they don’t think of every possibility nor the full implications of a potential Catch-22, which they do find themselves in eventually. It is all told in a rather jovial tone that works, even if the plot is centered around something as grave as kidnapping. The dialogue offers small chuckles and amusement throughout, sure to paint a smile across the faces of all watching.

And LiCastri is a decent, though journeyman director. While the movie is mostly made up of static wide, medium, and tight shots, the action flows well, and he maintains a lighthearted tone throughout. Devin Payne’s editing is also quite good, maintaining a steady rhythm, even in the unnecessary scenes.

“…offers small chuckles and amusement throughout…”

As a writer, Michael LiCastri needs to tighten up and focus on his story a bit better. But the main plotline is an interesting one, filled with some funny lines, as he does have an ear for dialogue. As a director, while he may lack a distinct style now, he shows great promise, and with another feature or two under his belt, could easily morph into a reliable indie name, a la Neil Johnson. As an actor… well, how about we just stick to the first two jobs?

As for The Best Laid Plans, it is just the right side of middling. By casting himself as the lead, LiCastri really drags down the whole production, and the first half does not add much to the main thrust of the plot. But it is inoffensive and offers some laughs throughout, so it is not a total waste. Plus, the ending actually works remarkably well, making the journey, flaws and all, worthwhile overall.

The Best Laid Plans (2019)

Directed and Written: Michael LiCastri

Starring: Michael LiCastri, Keith Surplus, David Plowden, Brian Ballance, Linnea Quigley, etc.

Movie score: 6/10

The Best Laid Plans Image

"…could easily morph into a reliable indie name..."

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