DANCES WITH FILMS 2022 REVIEW! I’m certain we’ve all been there. We watch movies like Die Hard or Dirty Harry as a way to escape our lowly lives of servitude to the man. In my own personal Death Wish, I’d like to believe that if I were John McClane, I’d tell my boss to shove it! Yippi Ki-yah, Mother-effers. Alejandro Montoya Marin and John Kaler’s The Wrong Guy is the story of one such everyman.
Daniel (John Keller) is a mid-level executive at a bank. He has a loving family and, for the most part, lives a content yet dull life. But he feels like there’s got to be more to it than this. While running errands, Daniel slips into his secret tough guy persona — along with the requisite action hero voice-over. Glasses on, cigarette in hand, and engines revving, Daniel is ready to protect the supermarket parking lot.
“Glasses on, cigarette in hand, and engines revving, Daniel is ready to protect the supermarket parking lot.”
Just before peeling out of his parking space, Daniel is almost hit by a speeding car driven by Richard (Kirk Fox). Tough guy Daniel pulls up behind the vehicle and quickly snaps a photo of the license plate. That night, he excuses himself from dinner, heads down to his secret mancave, hacks the owner of the license plate, and tags his nemesis’ car with a can of spray paint. Nobody messes with the wrong guy… that is until Daniel learns that maybe he himself messed with the wrong guy.
The Wrong Guy hits hard on the classic comedic theme of contrasts. Daniel is an ordinary schlub who falls way too deep into the vigilante persona he created in his mind. This is the moment he slips and acts on the persona, and Daniel must now deal with the consequences.
John Keller is amazing as Daniel, and with director Alejandro Montoya Marin, they produce a very slick origin story for our naïve hero. While the short is a parody of the citizen vigilante genre, the story holds to the genre along with a clever ending. It’s thrilling, hilarious, and just plain fun. So do yourself a favor and seek out The Wrong Guy at your local film festival’s shorts program.
The Wrong Guy screened at the 2022 Dances With Films.
"…thrilling, hilarious, and just plain fun."