With movie theaters still shuttered, and the stay-at-home advisory extended to May 18, cinephiles are forced to look elsewhere for a fix. The following includes four new(ish) offerings available on digital platforms.
“Deported”: Harvard grad and New Hampshire native Tyler Spindel directs a script he co-wrote about a commitment-shy guy (Whitmer Thomas) whose girlfriend (Megan Park) is sent home to Canada due to an expired visa. Too much of a pansy to marry her himself, Ross arranges a green-card sham in which his blonde beauty weds a chubby, hairy schlub (Mickey Gooch Jr.) to stay stateside. The movie tries hard to be raunchy, politically incorrect and gross. It succeeds, but Spindel - nephew of Adam Sandler - forgot two important comedic elements: heart and humor. Instead, he relies on sitcom plotting and painfully obvious setups. Park is the lone bright spot amid a one-note ensemble including a butch BFF (Fortune Feister), bully brother (Nick Swardson) and bickering parents (Kurt Fuller and Brenda Strong). A cameo by former Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski enables the GOAT’s wing man to indulge his dolt routine as “Party Guy Jake.” And it might have been cute if: (a) he could act, and (b) he hadn’t bolted for the Bucs. (Yup, still salty). In a later scene, Busty Heart (aka Boston native Susan Sykes) crushes beer cans with her size 34M boobs. Need I say more? (Not rated. Available for rental at all the usual streaming spots. Grade: C)
“Extraction”: Chris Hemsworth trades Thor’s hammer for assault weapons to play mercenary Tyler Rake. He’s hired to rescue an Indian drug lord’s kidnapped son (Rudraksh Jaiswal, terrific) in Bangladesh. The movie is one continuous grind as Rake fights an assortment of baddies to keep the boy alive. It’s action on top of action. There’s a LOT of leaping - off buildings, cliffs, bridges - car chases over crowded streets and stunning fisticuffs and shootouts orchestrated by stuntman-turned-director Sam Hargrave, best known for his work with Hemsworth on the Marvel movies. Writer Joe Russo (the “Avengers” movies) doesn’t develop much story - Rake is another action hero with a tragic backstory - but Hemsworth sells it lock-stock. Bollywood star Randeep Hooda lends heft as Rake’s main adversary and Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani (“Paterson”) records the movie’s best moment when she really puts her shoulder into a rocket launcher. (R for strong bloody violence throughout, language and brief drug use. Available on Netflix. Grade: B+)
“Sergio”: Emmy-winning director Greg Barker makes his feature film debut with a biopic about late U.N. diplomat Sergio Vieira de Mello (Wagner Moura, “Narcos”). Oscar-nominated writer Craig Borten (“Dallas Buyers Club”) oscillates between scenes of de Mello trapped in the rubble of Baghdad’s Canal Hotel after terrorists blow it up and the envoy’s love affair with economist Carolina Larriera (“Knives Out” breakout Ana de Armas). Structurally, the film shuffles, as the narrative jumps from New York to East Timor to Brazil and other far-flung places, while hitting the high notes of de Mello’s life as a celebrated peacekeeper. The rote script is propped by the charismatic Brazilian star, whose sparks opposite de Armas keep the film rolling. In a supporting role, Brian F. O’Byrne is notable as Sergio’s right-hand man, Gil Loescher. (R for language, some bloody images and a scene of sexuality. Available on Netflix. Grade: C+)
“Resistance”: Writer-director Jonathan Jakubowicz tells the origin story of Marcel Marceau, who previous to becoming a renowned mime was a resistance fighter saving hundreds of orphans from the Nazis during World War II. Jesse Eisenberg (“The Social Network”) plays him with a combination of grit and whimsy that doesn’t always work. But he’s an excellent mime and his earnestness goes a long way in a movie that boils down to yet another by-the-numbers biopic. Clémence Poésy is charming as love interest, Emma. “Game of Thrones” actress Bella Ramsey steals the show as a teenage orphan violently uprooted from her life. (R for some violence. Available to rent via video on demand. Grade: B)
Dana Barbuto may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @dbarbuto_Ledger.