Best F(r)iends: Volume 1 & 2
review by Bobby Blakey
In 2003 one of the most infamously bad films to ever be made The Room was sort of released on the world with very few actually seeing it at the time of its release. Over the years the film, its director and star Tommy Wiseau have gained a cult following with the film getting special screenings all over. The co-star of the film Craig Sestero went on to appear in numerous things including Retro Puppet Master. Now the duo are back together for their latest film Best F( r ) iends: Volume One & Two from newcomer director and co-cinematographer Justin MacGregor, but do they still have the magic together or will their friendship fail to survive on screen?
Best F(r) iends: Volume 1 follows an unlikely business partnership that forms between a drifter named Jon and quirky mortician Harvey, but paranoia soon develops and both men are forced to come to terms with the fragility of friendship and loyalty. Most people heading into this film are likely expecting more of The Room hijinx, but to my surprise it wasn’t bad at all. Sure there are issues here and there and some glimmers of what fans are hoping for, but it is pretty well crafted overall. The story is all over the place at times, but manages to be cohesive enough to keep things on track for the most part.
There isn’t anything here that is going to make it stand out like The Room, but it is also a different kind of film. This isn’t a Tommy Wiseau movie, this is a Justin MacGregor film that stars Wiseau and Sestero. Make no mistake you get some vintage great Wiseau moments who is all in with this character and Sestero carrying a big load of the film. Both of them still have the same chemistry together making this a film that could only feature them.
The reason it works for the so bad its great genre is that the absurdity of it all is loosely based on a real situation between Wiseau and Sestero. There is some great cheesy dialogue and performances, but also a sense of heart and fun to it
all while being wrapped in a drama of sorts. This is one of those kinds of films that needs to be enjoyed with a group of friends to full get all it has to offer. They were not playing around with the two part nature of the film as this one ending on a cliffhanger that admittedly had me wanting to see where it is all headed in volume two.
Best F(r) iends: Volume 2 follows Jon and his girlfriend with Harvey out of the way escaping to the Arizona desert…but their quest to open a safe full of loot leads them into a gang of desperate, deadly characters, leaving Jon, fighting to survive, haunted by freakish memories of the long-lost Harvey. This second film sadly features less of Tommy due to the ending of the previous film, but what he does bring to the story is pure gold. Much like the first one this is a bit all over the place and strange, but the story is a bit more cohesive with a more straight forward direction. On some levels the second volume is actually a better movie as a whole, but still falls in the full on cheese category.
There are numerous quirky characters in both volumes with long random dialogues about nothing leading towards a bigger picture that makes little to no sense in some aspects. That is part of the charm of it all as these guys made the movie they wanted to make and as far as independent films go isn’t bad. Most of the film is pretty average until we get into the Tommy sides of the story and seeing everything he does here reminds you that this is not just another average flick.
In addition to first time director Justin MacGregor at the helm it features an original musical score composed by Daniel Platzman of Imagine Dragons along with bonus content including deleted scenes, comedy, and featurettes offering an inside look at what it took to create this dark comedy. Grab your copy of Best F(r)iends: Volume 1 & 2 available now on Blu-ray and DVD from Lionsgate Home Entertainment.