Combustible Celluloid Review - Johnny & Clyde (2023), Tom DeNucci, Nick Principe, Tom DeNucci, Megan Fox, Avan Jogia, Ajani Russell, Tyson Ritter, Bai Ling, Vanessa Angel, Robert LaSardo, Armen Garo
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With: Megan Fox, Avan Jogia, Ajani Russell, Tyson Ritter, Bai Ling, Vanessa Angel, Robert LaSardo, Armen Garo
Written by: Tom DeNucci, Nick Principe
Directed by: Tom DeNucci
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 100
Date: 05/05/2023

Johnny & Clyde (2023)

1 Star (out of 4)

Blank Robbers

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

It's hard to pinpoint why this crime caper is so awful; it could be the lame attempts at humor or the bombastic attempts at acting, or it could be that, while trying hard to be cool, it's just empty.

Mass murderers and lovers Johnny (Avan Jogia) and Clyde (Ajani Russell) have killed their way across the country and have now set their sights on robbing a casino, where a secret vault holds enough cash to set them up for life. But with cunning crime boss Alana Hart (Megan Fox) in charge, it's not going to be easy.

They recruit three old friends, Butcher (Nick Principe), Baker (Charles W Harris III), and Candlestick (Robert LaSardo), to help. Unfortunately, characters from Johnny and Clyde's past are hot on their trail, looking for revenge. And even worse, Alana has locked the gang inside the building with a murderous demon called Bakwas.

The title Johnny & Clyde deliberately evokes Bonnie and Clyde, a classic lovers-on-the-run movie that's infinitely better. But the main characters' outfits and would-be swagger better recalls Natural Born Killers, a problematic movie, but also one that has tons more to say than this one does.

This genre at its best ought to have a sense of recklessness, passion, despair, or hope, or at least an awareness of what there actually is to rebel against. But with its synth score and candy colors, Johnny & Clyde revels in meaningless deaths, humor that borders on cruelty, a romance that never for a second feels real, and it ultimately adds up to absolutely nothing.

Megan Fox is, frankly, the best thing in it; her wry performance as the crime boss shows a weird combination of sadistic glee, relishing her power (she owns the gun that killed JFK), but also boredom… an inevitable displeasure with everyone around her that can never live up to her evil excellence.

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