***/**** Image A Sound A Extras B
starring Evan Glodell, Jessie Wiseman, Taylor Dawson, Rebekah Brandes
written and directed by Evan Glodell
starring Jason Bateman, Ryan Reynolds, Leslie Mann, Olivia Wilde
screenplay by Jon Lucas & Scott Moore
directed by David Dobkin
by Ian Pugh SPOILER WARNING IN EFFECT. Bellflower earns the right to its melodrama by asking what you have to live for and, more importantly, what you're willing to do to keep your life uncomplicated. Woodrow (writer-director Evan Glodell) and Aiden (Taylor Dawson) don't seem to have much of a life beyond hanging out with their friends and drinking too much--but their minds were suitably "warped" by a second-generation VHS tape of Mad Max. Now they spend their days constructing flamethrowers and muscle cars destined to fit right in with that film's end-of-the-world milieu. Woodrow hooks up with a young woman named Milly (Jessie Wiseman), and as the relationship blossoms (and breaks down), Glodell takes the opportunity to explore the unfathomable guilt and anger that drove George Miller's original road warrior--as well as what Glodell's own heroes have failed to understand about his journey. When we first meet him, Woodrow doesn't know too much about guilt or anger, so his coping mechanisms are extremely fractured. Confrontations with others are typically brief, sometimes without logical end, and the director intentionally tones down most of the violence so that his characters can wallow in passive-aggressive detachment. Sometimes the violent images are chopped out entirely, only to be saved for later in the movie, where they may or may not have been mentally re-edited by Woodrow to conform to a more favorable outcome. That's the thing about the apocalypse: it never goes quite the way you want.