The Do-Deca-Pentathlon | EW.com

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The Do-Deca-Pentathlon

The Do-Deca-PentathlonTwo estranged brothers compete over...well, practically over the air they breathe in The Do-Deca-Pentathlon, a teensy, disarming,...The Do-Deca-PentathlonRTwo estranged brothers compete over...well, practically over the air they breathe in The Do-Deca-Pentathlon, a teensy, disarming,...2012-07-0620th Century Fox Film Corporation
THE DO-DECA-PENTATHLON Steve Zissis and Mark Kelly

THE DO-DECA-PENTATHLON Steve Zissis and Mark Kelly (Red Flag Releasing)

B+

The Do-Deca-Pentathlon

Starring: Mark Kelly, Steve Zissis; Director: Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass; Release Date Limited: 07/06/2012; MPAA Rating: R; Distributor: 20th Century Fox Film Corporation

Two estranged brothers compete over…well, practically over the air they breathe in The Do-Deca-Pentathlon, a teensy, disarming, characteristically shambling story about the routines of slow-moving men from filmmaking brothers Jay and Mark Duplass. Onscreen siblings Jeremy (Mark Kelly) and Mark (Steve Zissis) are grown-ups, at least chronologically. But when Jeremy crashes Mark’s birthday celebration at their mother’s house, the pair resume a cutthroat, dead-serious, 25-event athletic showdown they invented as high school kids. (Their face-offs include holding one’s breath underwater.) The competition is brutal — to the appalled resignation of Mark’s incredibly patient wife (Jennifer Lafleur), who looks on with appropriate womanly dismay at all this deranged, love-hate guy nonsense.

Although newly released, The Do-Deca-Pentathlon was shot four years ago, before the Duplasses’ more spiffed-up Hollywood entries Cyrus and Jeff, Who Lives at Home. So the filmmakers’ trademark shoulder-shrugging, what-the-hey approach to visual storytelling — all raggedy, with slamming zooms and unsparing close-ups on less-than-glossy male faces — was achieved on even more of a microbudget than most of their stuff. Not that it makes much difference. These movie guys specialize in snapping vignettes of human inconsistency — no fancy lighting required. (Also available on VOD) B+

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