Film Review: ‘Wrong’

Caption: Jack Plotnick plays a harried everyman in "Wrong." Credit: Drafthouse Films
Caption: Jack Plotnick plays a harried everyman in “Wrong.” Credit: Drafthouse Films

Director: Quentin Dupieux
Stars: Jack Plotnick, William Fichtner
Rating: 2 (out of 5) Globes

For a movie about a killer tire on the prowl, Quentin Dupieux’s “Rubber” was surprisingly, almost unnecessarily, focused. An inexplicable premise became a wry, loopy commentary on inexplicable premises and the people that give them an audience. “Wrong,” the French DJ-turned-auteur’s follow-up, is classic sophomore slump: an unfocused mishmash, evidently the result of him emptying out notebooks filled with odd ideas that simply needed a home. Some are amusing, some are not amusing, and once one adjusts expectations to low can its sporadic charms be properly enjoyed.

Jack Plotnick plays Dolph, an everyman who awakens one day to a missing dog. Suddenly, apparently, life goes awry in random, absurdist ways. His clock, rather than read, e.g., “7:00” reads “6:60.” The fire sprinklers are constantly going off at his office, from which he was fired but to which he returns everyday anyway. His neighbor abruptly abandons his house to wander the earth. His gardener is mistaken for him by a hot young thing, who becomes pregnant and soon thereafter delivers a baby who is suddenly a grown boy.

Dupieux has already made a not-sequel entitled “Wrong Cops,” with more and bigger names (including Eric Wareheim and Marilyn Manson). But “Wrong” barely has enough gags on its own, and is forced to repeatedly repeat ones that weren’t so hot the first time. It’s telling that a few of these are derivative: the vision of hellish office life is vaguely reminiscent of the one in “Joe Vs. the Volcano,” while the joke about a rapidly growing boy was already present in another, far funnier comedy, “Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part One.”

Dolph’s pursuit of his errant mutt serves as the closest thing to a structure. He soon runs afoul of the enigmatic Master Chang (William Fichtner), an apparent god-like being with an acid-stained face, a braided pony-tail and a childish, Latka Gavra-esque accent, who has written a series of books on telepathy between dog and man, the most recent of which he describes as “really revolutionary.” Fichtner is an eternally underrated actor and, here, reliably game, but his material is more obnoxious than inspired, however well it plays off an enervated Plotnick. Our star does an enjoyably sour twist on the harried crap magnet; it’s he, not the “plot” or even the occasional genuinely insane gag — including one about tapping into the memories of dog poop (!!) — that keep “Wrong” just barely puttering.



Federal mediator joins Met Opera labor talks as…

Unions representing the orchestra and chorus of the Met Opera agreed to have a federal mediator join labor talks on Thursday as a threatened lockout loomed.


Winning $7 million New York lottery ticket sold…

The only $7 million winning New York Lottery ticket for Monday's Cash4Life drawing was sold at a Queens 7-Eleven, officials said on Tuesday.


Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.


Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…


Review: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is a refreshingly…

Marvel is sitting so high on a cash mountain that it's now thrown $170 million at the relatively obscure and very silly title "Guardians of the Galaxy."


Review: 'Get on Up' is a war between…

James Brown finally gets his own boring biopic with "Get on Up," but the Godfather of Soul puts up a good fight against the usual cliches.


Review: 'Child of God' finds director James Franco…

James Franco's 11th directed feature is a noble but sloppy adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's "Child of God," about a feral mountain man (Scott Haze).


Review: Alex Gibney's Fela Kuti doc 'Finding Fela'…

Prolific documentarian Alex Gibney takes on Afrobeat god Fela Kuti in "Finding Fela," but fails to capture his unique essence.


Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade…

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade deadline


Playing the Field: Valentine's Day coupling edition

  It’s Valentine’s Day, a day created by Hallmark to make couples spend loads and loads of money on candy, flowers and gourmet dinners. Or…


Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.


Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.


What do you wear to a career fair?…

Getting that gig starts with presenting the most polished and memorable version of yourself, so refer to our expert fashion advice.


Editors pick: Margiela's finger armor ring

These cool rings from Maison Martin Margiela are designed to overlap over the finger, covering each joint like armor.


Givenchy champions diversity

Riccardo Tisci's uses a variety of ethnically diverse ladies for his spring campaign including Erykah Badu.


Don't settle for the hotel fitness center with…

Travelers who want to skip the hotel fitness center in favor of local gyms that may offer better equipment, classes and amenities can turn to…