Carter And June

**1/2

Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

Carter And June
"Good crime capers have to have style, but the style over substance approach can only take you so far."

Carter (Michael Raymond-James) is a bit of a chancer, a happy-go-lucky guy who has got by in life by identifying opportunities and taking risks, then squandering everything he's gained and having to do it all over again. So far, so good, but when a plan goes wrong and leaves him heavily indebted to strip club owner Spencer Rabbit (Timothy Omundson), things don't look so good. Rabbit wants his money and is unpleasantly clear about what will happen if he doesn't get it. Fortunately, June (Samaire Armstrong) is there with a plan. It's a simple bank heist. Follow the rules and nothing can go wrong. Right?

What starts out as one heist turns into a series of increasingly risky schemes in this madcap comedy which, whilst it's really quite likeable, struggles like its characters do when it comes to finding direction. June sees opportunity in crises and consequently devises increasingly elaborate schemes. through which several other people get drawn into the pair's escapades - among them a security guard (James Landry H├ębert) who's just trying to do the right thing and a manic all-American Barbie girl (Lindsay Musil) who insists (to herself as much as anyone) that she just wants the money for Jesus. There's a lot of interesting potential here, but writer/director Nicholas Kalikow lacks the experience to balance the various sub-plots effectively with the result that they all end up underexplored. Ironically, the two characters he always keeps in focus are the least interesting, and it's difficult to understand what they find interesting about one another.

Good crime capers have to have style, but the style over substance approach can only take you so far. Kalikow has got all the pieces in place and captured the look that many directors strive for, but his story never really comes together. The best thing about it is Omundson, whose OTT performance and distinctive moustache are worth watching on their own. Unfortunately, he's in it too little to carry the film. Raymond-James uses his forehead like a low-rent Brad Pitt and has decent comic timing but no chemistry with Armstrong, so efforts at sex appeal don't quite work and the film's considerable energy dissipates too easily.

Carter & June is fun but struggles to stay the course. With tighter editing and the benefit of a little more experience, however, Kalikow's team could come up with something highly entertaining.

Reviewed on: 17 May 2018
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An inexperienced gangster tries to rob a bank to impress a girl.

Director: Nicholas Kalikow

Writer: Nicholas Kalikow, Matt Post

Starring: Michael Raymond-James, Samaire Armstrong, Timothy Omundson, James Landry Hébert, Paul Rae, Lindsay Musil

Year: 2017

Runtime: 87 minutes

Country: US

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