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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Short Shrift in a Tall Tale

Vengeance on IMDb

Plot Overview

tombstonePodcaster and stringer for the New Yorker Ben Manalowitz (B.J. Novak) is heavily into the New York hookup scene and is lucky to even remember the names of his scores. One such liaison was with Abilene “Abby” Shaw (Lio Tipton) a singer wannabe from Texas who embel­lished their story to her family. When she went home and died of an over­dose, her tearful brother Ty (Boyd Holbrook) phones to persuade him to come for the funeral. His editor Eloise (Issa Rae) thinks there's a story in it (“this is a story defining hookup culture,”) so she sends him.

football and flaggal on phoneman on phoneThe family takes a shine to Ben who inveigles him­self into all things Texan. His editor likes his story that conjures up a conspiracy with nada supporting it. Lots of Texas folk culture gets thrown in. The brother wants Ben's help in avenging the death of his sister.


hand crank ice cream makerPeaceable Ben agrees to help define how Abby met her demise but will leave any retribution to the police. Thus is begun his trans­for­mation into an avenging angel à la, (Prov. 30:33) “Surely the churning of milk bringeth forth butter, and the wringing of the nose bringeth forth blood: so the forcing of wrath bringeth forth strife.” A constant aggravation over time can change a state of complacency to one of conflict like (liquid) milk upon being churned changing to (solid) butter. An irritation to some critical area (like the nose) can make it bleed. In this movie Ben works long and hard on his story piece until his interest suddenly changes from the commercial aspect to the actual people involved. And there's a scene where Ben's face bleeds from shrapnel from an exploding Prius.

harlotIt remains to be seen whether Ben upon tracking down the nebulous “conspiracy” to murder Abby can be provoked into avenging her death with his pen mightier than the sword or with the other.

Production Values

” (2022) was written and directed by B.J. Novak. It stars B.J. Novak, Issa Rae, and Boyd Holbrook. The acting was fair to middling in colorful characters.

MPAA rated it R for language and brief violence. It has a run time of 1 hour & 34 minutes.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

This is a dark comedy that's funny in a lot of places. The humor is mostly at the expense of a self-important press, but Texas is hardly spared. A micro­phone wandering around can end up in a lot of interesting places. Surprises abound. It's a good one. Don't miss it.

Movie Ratings

Action Factor: Weak action scenes. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Average special effects. Video Occasion: Fit For a Friday Evening. Suspense: A few suspenseful moments. Overall movie rating: Three stars out of five.