#REVIEW: “THE OATH”
Ever-relevant, Funnyman Ike Barinholtz‘s directorial debut THE OATH is a dark Holiday Comedy unlike anything you’ve never seen before. Set in an alternate America over Thanksgiving weekend, the Film in which he also writes and stars, centers on high-strung and news-obsessed Chris. Him and his wife Kai (Tiffany Haddish) decide to invite family over for the holiday on which the White House decides to make Americans sign an oath of loyalty in exchange for tax benefits, which a progressive Chris completely is against.
Tensions mount at the dinner table as we witness some dinner table squabble as liberal Chris and his conservative family butt heads. Asian people being bad drivers even comes up in discussion among other matters, passions flare and things take a turn to the dark when two members of the Citizen’s Protection Unit (John Cho and Billy Magnussen) show up to question Chris. What erupts is violence and catastrophe, everything worst possible case scenario.
There is something satisfying and cathartic about the anger, rage and heavy-handedness we witness, well because these are very real emotions Americans and Canadians are experiencing. On that same token, we aren’t sure how effective the Film is in accomplishing the elevated consciousness it hopes to The Film never quite finds itself, shifting tonally from a Dark Comedy to a violent Thriller and we liked it more when it was the former. Barenholt’s Chris is a bit of a tough sell in his overzealousness when he should be our conduit into the world of thesecharacters’. Haddish whom we love, gives an understated performance, as the level-headed one of the two, but isn’t given enough to work with.
While The Oath isn’t for everyone, we feel like that was the point – to make a statement and be provocative.
levelFILM release THE OATH Friday, October 19, 2018 in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.