‘A Bag of Hammers,’ reviewed by Marshall Fine


Don’t judge “A Bag of Hammers” by its first 15 minutes. The debut feature from writer-director Brian Crano may start out sounding like a goofy buddy comedy, but stick with it – and it will surprise you. In a good way.

The two central characters are Alan (Jake Sandvig) and Ben (Jason Ritter), first glimpsed parking cars as valets at a funeral. Or are they? After a few minutes of banter, they give a claim check to the owner of a BMW, then casually get in and drive it away, stealing and selling it.

This scam apparently keeps them in spending money, enough that they own their own house. Indeed, they live in the guest house at the rear of the property, renting the main house to a newcomer, a woman named Lynette (Carrie Preston) and her 12-year-old son, Kelsey (Chandler Canterbury). Alan and Ben are benevolent types; when Lynette explains that she’s still awaiting FEMA funds after losing her house in Hurricane Katrina (a dated reference, perhaps), they cut her a break on her rent.

But Lynette’s life is on a downward spiral.

This review continues on my website.

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