Jeff Murdoch (Jeff Murdoch) is the Master of Inventions, the public face, and “brains” behind, most of Blam Co’s line of products that include the Singing GPS, the Jerky Hydrator and the Waterproof Blow Dryer. Despite his notoriety (he seems to be recognized everywhere he goes), he’s not happy with his job nor the products he’s promoting. Even though they started out as his ideas, he feels they’ve been perverted by the company into something insipid so they can make more money.
Couple his general unease with the not-so-hidden manipulation by his boss Marcus (Tim Heurlin), his social shortcomings (the model for his product commercials, Susie (Susie Gutowski), doesn’t want anything to do with him), the barely-good-natured abuse he takes from his best friend Tim (Joe Avella) and the reality that his inventions aren’t just stupid, they’re starting to result in people getting hurt (damn you, Singing GPS), and Jeff is in a pretty dark place. However, he manages to find friendship with an old acquaintance of Tim’s, Laura (Katie O’Brien), and things begin to look up. Maybe.
Master of Inventions focuses more on the absurd than anything else. It really doesn’t matter if Jeff’s character grows, if there’s much of a plot or the like, because most of the time the film is throwing different jokes or scenarios at the crowd to see what works. It’s a hodge-podge of comedy, but because it is actually pretty funny, it’s easier to forgive its shortcomings; especially since it is not only aware of them, but makes it a point to make a joke at their expense whenever possible. For example, when footage of a TV newscaster looks like some horrible green screen work, the film makes sure to drop the graphics for a brief second as if to say, “yeah, we know.”
Not all jokes hit, such as the sequences where voiceover talks about how stupid the various inventions are over nothing but a black screen. The lack of explanation amid widespread adoption of the inventions is what makes their stupidity that much more humorous; having anyone explain why they don’t work lessens the joke, and when that explanation comes over nothing but a black screen, it feels more like running time filler than anything else.
In the end, the film doesn’t look that great and the plot doesn’t really go anywhere, but it’s funny for the majority of its running time so, again, easy to forgive the shortcomings. Essentially, the filmmakers knew what they had, and what they were going for, and wanted to maximize what they did get right to have fun and push the absurdity of it all. Master of Inventions won’t be for everyone, but for those that go along with the flawed world it presents, it can be a good time.
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