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Review: Chop Chop (2020)

Chop Chop certainly gets off to an interesting start. Liv (Atala Arce) and Chuck (Jake Taylor) are having a romantic night in when Teddy (David Harper) a pizza delivery guy who doubles as a serial killer turns up. They haven’t ordered pizza. Liv closes the door and turns around to find him sitting on the couch. The couple promptly kills him.

Of course, rather than call the police, they decide to dispose of the body themselves. This sends them down an ever increasingly bloody rabbit hole of unfortunate circumstances. Circumstances that involve a cop who won’t stay dead, Detective Minaya (Jeremy Jordan) and assorted colourful and dangerous characters.

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First-time feature director Rony Patel and co-writer Andrew Ericksen (Toxicity) are aiming for a kind of David Lynch meets Quentin Tarantino vibe, not exactly the easiest thing to pull off. Not surprisingly the results are a bit of a mess. OK, more than a bit.

Much of the problem lies with the leads themselves. Liv and Chuck are so emotionless and unphased by everything around them. Obviously, they’re not the typical, happy couple they first seem to be. But who are they, and why are they so calm while surrounded by psychos, gangsters and a growing pile of bodies?

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That, like so many other things in Chop Chop, is never explained. Just like there’s no real backstory to Teddy or why he was carrying a bag of severed heads on his way to deliver their pizza. We do eventually meet his katana-wielding twin brother, however. For that matter what is the connection between Chuck and Rex (Natasha Missick)? Do the filmmakers think the fact he knows someone in the underworld doesn’t need to be explained? Or that it is an explanation for the way the couple act?

With a bit more structure this could have been an enjoyably surreal bit of dark comedy. A couple who, I assume, was once involved with a rather violent underworld gang are forced to renew their dealings with them. The bizarre figures who make up the gang and ever-worsening situations providing the humour. Instead, it’s a series of barely connected, almost random incidents.

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Chop Chop ends on a bizarre note that obviously is intended as an opening for a sequel. While a second film might explain a few things, I can’t imagine I’d want to bother with it.

Chop Chop will be available on digital starting October 20th from Kamikaze Dogfight in partnership with Gravitas Ventures. You can check out the film’s Facebook page for more information.

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