Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

There is something to be said for brevity.  I am not going to hate on a movie that has the common decency to clock itself at under 80 minutes as this tells me that the filmmakers care about my time.  This weekend, I saw two movies that ran under 80 minutes, and God bless ‘em all!  Look, if a movie runs over 100 minutes it better have something worthwhile to say.  Braveheart, Titanic, Lord of the Rings and the like, sure they ran long, but they had something worthwhile to say.  Contrast this to arguably the worst offender of this simple rule in ‘Bad Boys II’ which was two and a half hours of car chases, explosions and stupidity.  That film was so bad that it has the distinction of being the only film my young, remarkably easily entertained son has ever walked out on.  He migrated to the dining room and proceeded to read a book.  Simply Amazing.


This brings us to ‘Grilled’ starring two of the small screens heaviest heavyweights,  ‘Everybody loves Raymond’s’ Ray Romano and ‘King of Queens’ Kevin James.  The two play Maurice and Dave respectively who are struggling meat salesmen.  They can’t close a deal to save their life, and if they don’t make a sale soon, it’s all over for them.  So here’s how it goes:  Our heroes pay a cold call to the tasty Loridonna, played by the insanely hot Sofia Veraga, who has her suicidal friend Suzanne (Juliette Lewis) on the line.  Seconds from closing the deal, the two salesmen travel with her to her Suzanne’s house to help her avoid her demise where Maurice gets cozy with Loridonna and Suzanne’s crazed mob boyfriend Tony (Kim Coates) comes in, bulleted up and pissed off.

It’s all good though as Tony likes steak so Dave gives him the hard sell.  Maurice finds out that Loridonna used to be a man.  This is funny as Sofia Veraga is SO feminine that I believe that she may have 3 X chromosomes.  Again, seconds from closing the deal with Tony, hitmen bust in the house and off the dude, but Maurice and Dave, on the verge of emanate death, negotiate a life for meat deal that also goes straight to hell.  As one would imagine in a film like this, mayhem, chaos, confusion occur and hopefully insane hilarity will ensue.


As you may or may not know, this little film went direct to video.  Some movies are designed for such a release while others simply end up that way by some determination of the studio that it’s not worthy for theatrical release, and I think ‘Grilled’ was the latter.  Whether or not this thing would have made any money at the box office I couldn’t tell you, but I can tell you that I liked ‘Grilled’ in all of its 78 minute mayhem flled, madcap glory.  Now I can tell that thing was edited down to the nub, probably for the sole purpose of keeping it short and sweet and the movie as a whole was probably better for it.  Mind you I’ve never seen an episode of ‘Raymond’ and I’ve seen a few episodes of ‘Queens’ late night after the news so I have no particular affinity to either one of the ‘Grilled’ stars, but these two guys are obviously veteran actors and fine comedians who play off of each quite well and have legitimate chemistry together.


True, the story itself was a bit ridiculous, but it never did take itself too seriously and even a short movie can become boring, and ‘Grilled’ to its credit, was never that.  There’s really not a lot break down or examine with a story as simple and as standard in this one, so I’m not even going to try.  But it had two good leads, a hot chick, a little violence and throws in Burt Reynolds whose facing is starting look like the remnants of an old leather jacket.  And it’s short.  Not worthy of a recommendation on its length alone, but ‘Grilled’ does supply some solid entertainment its short life, and for that I’m thankful. 


One more thing, ‘Grilled’ has a kick ass soundtrack.

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