written by Ben Kent & Joel Wilenius
directed by Ben Kent
by Walter Chaw A lark, and often a good one, in the Very Bad Things vein where murder spoils an evening of debauchery, Ben Kent's feature debut F.U.B.A.R. offers up a twist by setting its shenanigans at one of those paintball courses where people pretend to be zombies for the pleasure of the armed guests. It's a bachelor party for nebbish Sam (Sean Verey), who, saddled with his obnoxious chums, hopes the weekend goes well so he can impress his future father-in-law, Gerald (Mark Heap)--Gerald being an ex-Navy special ops guy who did classified things at Her Majesty's discretion. Eric (Danny Kirrane) is the Zach Galifianakis of the group, the loser holding onto past glory who takes it all a little too seriously; Toby is the Ed Helms family man who's outgrown these idiots; and Miles is the unctuous Bradley Cooper figure in charge of making inappropriate jokes at other peoples' expense. These archetypes stretch over essentially every film of this kind, fascinatingly leapfrogging gender barriers in the process (see: Rough Night--rather, don't). The best of the bunch is probably Edgar Wright's The World's End, and F.U.B.A.R. owes perhaps its greatest debt to that film's sense of humour and timing. Essentially, the boys accidentally kill one of the zombie cosplayers--who are, unfortunately for the boys, insane paramilitary types who don't take kindly to the death, accidental or otherwise, of one of their mates. What follows is the usual over-the-top violence and unfortunate escalation, leading up to a final punchline that crosses over into the pleasantly surreal. It's a solid diversion and Kent demonstrates a nice way with his cast, as well as a strong ear for comedy.