By: Randy Krinsky
Director: Alex Magaña
Stars: Alex Magaña, Matt Lowe, Jonah Anderson, Aimée Binford, Erin Hagen, Alysse Fozmark
Release Date: Available now on Amazon Prime Video
Slapped! The Movie is based on a popular web series by filmmakers Alex Magaña and Matt Lowe. The duo has turned the comedy series into a feature-length story that is sure to delight viewers. The film was not only written by Magaña and Lowe, but they star as best friends, Alex and Matt, one skinny and one fat, who magically swap bodies (think Freaky Friday meets Clerks!). Though they are best friends, they couldn’t be more opposite. Alex is single, lives on his own, is health-conscious, exercises regularly, eats right, and yet lacks the social skills and personality to go out and find true love. Matt, on the other hand, lives with his exotic-dancer mother and her girlfriend, is lazy, overweight, yet confident in himself, and in a loving relationship. Despite their differences, the two are best of friends and complement each other. They work together, party together, but Matt’s personality and social confidence just doesn’t seem to rub off onto Alex.
One night after drinking, Matt and Alex complain to each other how much they would love to live each other’s lives and that each doesn’t know how good they got it. A homeless man, who happens to be a voodoo priest, overhears the pair talking and decides to intervene. Without saying a word, the homeless man slaps the pair in the face. The next morning they find themselves waking up in each other’s bodies!
They spend the rest of the film trying to find the homeless man, known as Magic Mike, and get him to switch them back. Along the way, they discover the truth about actually living in someone else’s body. They gain some understanding on each other’s lives, interests, and goals, not to mention the occasional bad habit or two. By the end of it all, they grow to not only appreciate their own lives, but also the life that the other has to live. They learn to be grateful for the experiences that has shaped them and perhaps got a little nudge to make those improvements that have been missing.
The film is full of hilarious moments and a colorful cast of characters. From Joe Blow and Steve (with Alien-Hand Syndrome), to Kratos the drug dealer, whose “enlightened” consciousness makes him the only one who can easily see that the duo have switched bodies. There’s plenty of weed humor and odd, drug-induced visions, such as “ghetto-sketti,” (trust me, you have to see it!). Even the sleeping arrangements make for some great comedic situations.
The film has high production values, looks and sounds great. You can tell they skimped on nothing when they made this film. The writing is top notch, with a witty repartee reminiscent of Kevin Smith’s Clerks. A film theorist might look at this film and find the story as a running commentary on the social politics of relationships in the new millennium. Perhaps some viewers might even look for some deeper level of psychological interpretation. Just face it, it’s a stoner comedy and it’s played for laughs. Grab some popcorn, your beverage of choice, and settle in for the ride. This film might not be for everyone, but if you give it a chance, you’ll find something to make you laugh. This film features all kinds of humor, something to offend everyone, with plenty of dick jokes and gross-out moments. These guys really swung for the fences when trying to decide what to include.
The only thing that might turn some viewers away is the runtime. Slapped! The Movie is a demanding two hours long; however, there are enough sex gags and boner jokes to keep your attention, I promise. You might find yourself losing focus every now and then when you realize that not much emphasis was placed on solving the main character’s flaws, other than to just countdown the days to get them back into their own bodies. But if you give yourself over to it and get into the film for the laughs, you’ll have a good time. Slapped! The Movie is a solid film and definitely shows that the filmmakers have talent; talent as actors and writers. To be honest, I hope they keep working together and I’m eager to see what they come up with next.