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'Wrong' review: Somewhat funny, totally absurd

**1/2 (out of four)

Though the film co-stars Alexis Dziena and William Fichtner, "Wrong" probably won't be confused for the upcoming "Entourage" movie. (Don't know those names? Dziena played E's girlfriend Ashley, and Fichtner played Drama advocate/"Johnny's Bananas" producer Phil Yagoda).

In "Wrong," Dziena plays a pizza chain employee willing to leave her husband for a guy she falls for on the phone; Fichtner plays Master Chang, a ponytailed, Dr. Evil-accented expert on telepathically talking to dogs who kidnaps pets to help owners better appreciate them. "I only realized I loved my face after it had been burned with acid," notes Master Chang, supporting his "don't know what you got 'til it's gone" philosophy.

Not coincidentally, Dolph (Jack Plotnick), who's gone to work for the last three months despite being fired, loses his beloved pooch Paul and tries to get him back. He also counsels his gardener Victor (Eric Judor), who poses as Dolph to sleep with Emma (Dziena), on a palm tree that has mysteriously become a pine tree.

This brand of bizarre should be no surprise for anyone who saw writer-director Quentin Dupieux's 2010 comedy-thriller "Rubber," which featured a killer tire who could explode animals and human heads with its, uh, mind. Where Dupieux spent most of "Rubber" applauding his own cleverness, he keeps "Wrong" rolling from one amusingly odd bit to another. A fireman texts while a van burns just a few feet away. Water constantly rains on indifferent employees inside Dolph's office. Dolph's friend Mike (Regan Burns) drives as far as he can and thinks he's reached the end of the world. "Oh," Dolph says when the two re-connect by phone. "Do you like it?"

With the surreal "Wrong," Dupieux again treats characters and, by extension, life's nonsense with a shrug. Still, it's a lot easier to like a stunt when a filmmaker brings more than one idea to a movie, whether or not those ideas have anything to do with each other.

Watch Matt on “You & Me This Morning,” Friday at 6:55 a.m. on WCIU, the U

mpais@tribune.com

 

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Copyright © 2015, RedEye
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