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First Look Review - Three Holes, Two Brads, and a Smoking Gun

A group of characters go to extreme lengths to acquire a screenplay.

Review by Schyler Martin

Directed by: Hilarion Banks

Starring: Zuher Khan, James Wilder, Joaquim de Almeida



Three Holes, Two Brads, and a Smoking Gun explores the nature of man’s greed through a situation that feels pretty appropriate: the entertainment business.
The film begins as a young screenwriter talks to his teacher about a screenplay he’s written. The screenplay is, apparently, amazing. So amazing that people would kill for it. The film dives deeper and deeper into what men will do to gain fame and money, and as it progresses, it becomes clear that there’s no turning back for these characters.
James Wilder is great as Bobby, the once-great screenwriter who now works as a weary teacher. Wilder sells a character that seems unhinged enough to make radical decisions in order to jumpstart his career. He’s had the glory of being successful in the entertainment business, and now that he’s lost it with age, it seems reasonable enough that he would do just about anything to get it back.
Zuher Khan is fine as Jack, Wilder’s student who has apparently written a groundbreaking potential screenplay. Khan isn’t nearly as interesting in his role as Wilder, but in his defense, his character isn’t as interesting either.
In nearly every respect, Three Holes, Two Brads, and a Smoking Gun is just fine. The story, if outlandish, flows at a reasonable pace. The actors each hold their own. The score is a bit overwhelming at times, but it too is all right. The script is sometimes quite good, but still it never rises above being just ok.
The frustrating thing about Three Holes, Two Brads, and a Smoking Gun is that it only really has one major issue. While everything else might be decent, the believability of the movie is a huge problem, and it’s one that the film is never able to overcome.
It’s tough to believe that this young screenwriter could genuinely write something so revolutionary that the characters would go to such great acts to secure it. We’re never given any proof of its greatness, and therefore the actions of the characters seem ridiculous. Because believability is never there, viewers will watch the entire film while scratching their heads, wondering how on earth these characters could be so idiotic.
Three Holes, Two Brads, and a Smoking Gun isn’t a bad movie, but a mediocre one with a solid performance from Wilder. There’s greatness hiding somewhere in Three Holes, Two Brads, and a Smoking Gun, but unfortunately, we never quite get to see it.




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