#REVIEW: “BRAD’S STATUS”
Review by Justin Waldman for Mr. Will Wong
Ben Stiller nails the role of self-pitying, self-loathing, self-important father perfectly in the sometimes frustrating Brad’s Status, a turn of foot for Writer/Director Mike White (Nacho Libre, School of Rock).
The Film centers on Troy (Austin Abrams) as he explores his post-secondary education options, going on an East Coast trip with his dad Brad (Ben Stiller). Troy isn’t your average kid, he’s essentially a genius looking at getting into schools of Harvard caliber. While on the trip, Brad runs into an old colleague Craig (Michael Sheen), who is an accomplished Writer and living a glorious life. Brad however is stuck in a rut, running his non-profit organization. Throughout the Movie, Brad manages to blow-up at his misfortunes and take it out on either his son, his son’s friends, or release it via monologue, which ultimately makes him feel worse.
Stiller‘s Brad comes off heartless and it is challenging to find much redeeming about him. While one can empathize with Brad‘s inferiority complex punctuated seeing his buddies do so much better financially than he is, the stern manner in which he parents Troy doesn’t appear to come from the right place. This perhaps is what makes him so difficult to stomach. That being said, Stiller plays the character incredibly well navigating Brad‘s outbursts of inadequacy, albeit being really unlikable.
Abrams plays Troy well, loving and respecting his father through all the outbursts, being put-down constantly in a roller coaster of emotions. Sheen plays with precision the narcissistic former friend of Brad, getting right under the audience’s skin and Brad‘s too.
Brad’s Status can be polarizing for both its younger and older audiences and that is the interesting thing about the Film. How you perceive Brad might depend largely on where you are in life, but you’ll have to see.
VVS Films release BRAD’S STATUS in select cities on Friday, September 22, 2017.