The irony of ‘Big Gold Brick’ being a film about a traumatic brain injury is strong considering the fact that moviegoers will feel like they were hit by a car trying to understand what exactly is going on here.
Brian Petsos is not a household name but he has a lot of connections which is how he got so many big-name attached to his directorial debut. A film that stars Andy Garcia, Megan Fox, and Lucy hale along with some production assistance by Oscar Issac and Kristen Wiig would be enough for some people to at least give this film a look. The trailer could even convince you that there is some wacky fun to be had here. Sadly, movie trailers can be deceptive as they are enticing.
‘Big Gold Brick’ is a story about Samuel Liston (Emory Cohen), an outcast whose life rapidly falls apart. One night after going through a drunken stupor, he is struck by a car driven by Floyd Deveraux (Andy Garcia). Floyd decides to take Sam in until he gets back on his feet. Sam gets to meet Floyd’s wild family. His wife Jacqueline (Megan Fox) seems to sleep around everyone in town, his daughter Lily (Lucy Hale) who is a cocaine addict struggling to find purpose, and his son Edward (Leonidas Castrounis) who is like a younger version of Sam.
Sam struggles to cope with the depth of the new relationships with his new father figure, the daughter he’s attracted to, and the wife who keeps trying to hit on him. Sam’s inability to deal with his life causes him to suffer from deeper trauma in this wacky tale of human misery.
Despite the wacky and fun nature of the film’s trailer, ‘Big Gold Brick’ is a long and drawn-out film that offers little entertainment for its over-bloated runtime. A film that was dead on arrival due to the fact that first-time director Petsos attempts to “bend genres” without learning the basics of the genre first.
‘Big Gold Brick’ labels itself a dark comedy but anything that can be labeled funny are few and far between. Instead, the film comes off as joyless misery porn about a nihilist writer who blames the world for his own problems. The pacing of the film moves at the speed of a wounded animal, especially in the first’s opening act. The runtime is an insulting 132 minutes long in a film that should have been at least 45 minutes shorter.
Andy Garcia is the best actor in the film as he is the only character whose personality is engaging enough to give this film a chance. Everyone else from Fox to Hale are just one-dimensional characters who could have been explored in a deeper way with a better filmmaker but never evolve into anything more than their outlines.
Pretentious is the best way to describe this disaster while nepotism is the best way to describe how we got here. If you are looking for a creative original comedy, this is not it. ‘Big Gold Brick’ is a film that should have been left in the vault it was put in three years ago.