A movie about characters who collect toys and fantasize about ’60s television sci-fi women? Can’t possibly work. Won’t work. Unless, of course, you make the movie in Australia, use an excellent and believable cast, have a solid story and make it damn funny. That’s “Waste,” and it works … for the most part.
With minor complaints about a few really silly moments and unnecessary characters (Andy McDonell as the Smoldering Man comes to mind), this comedy hits home for pop culture geeks and the people who love them. Two men, Max (Jon Halpin) and Joel (Paul Denny), are what Americans call “slackers.” They surround themselves with issues of “Too Much Coffee Man” and old movie posters while smoking pot and cracking wise about “Planet of the Apes.” Max’s girlfriend, Bhaja (played with much depth by Caroline Dunphy), throws a wrench into his child-like world, however, when she announces she’s pregnant and keeping the baby. Max has the reaction every guy has in that situation. You guys know it; there’s no need to explain. You girls who aren’t familiar with it — tell your boy you’re pregnant. Watch his face. That’s the reaction.
What follows this little bomb is Max’s journey into the wonderfully overrated world of responsibility. Along the way he encounters strange characters, bizarre situations and some personal insight that will serve him well in his new role as a father.
It’s apparent that the group behind this film has a love of collector-level toys and old television shows. I know guys like that. Hell, I am one of those guys. The script, which often pokes fun at these types of people, also rings true, making this a film that needs to be seen by anyone who knows why Star Trek sucks and just what “on the card” means. Kudos, from one toy collector geek to another.
The rest of you folks may find the film pretty comical, but you won’t realize the sublime beauty of it all. Don’t let that stop you, though. This is a far better and funnier film than “Legally Blonde 2.”