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Amusingly Improbable Coincidences Satisfy in Off Jackson Avenue

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Off Jackson Avenue
Goltzius Productions
Directed by John-Luke Montias
Opens July 17, Quad Cinema

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Brutal Albanians dupe an innocent Mexican (Jessica Pimentel) into sex slavery—she plots escape; a Chinatown don imports a Japanese schoolteacher/hit man (Ryo Okamura) to off said Albanians for underselling his own "yum yum" business, and the assassin turns out to be a conscience-stricken momma's boy; a perpetual loser (writer/director John-Luke Montias) frenetically jacks cars in the hope of buying a local sleazebag's tire business. Montias arranges his three equally weighted Queens-based plotlines—built from instantly recognizable movie clichés with a multi-culti New Yawk twist—much like a menu at one of the borough's pan-ethnic joints, and then switches back and forth between sections A, B, and C at regularly timed intervals to nudge each story forward. Despite this tri-part farcical thriller's plot construction, some hackneyed dialogue and actorial mugging—the finest exception being Aya Cash's airily acerbic Slavic hooker—you can't help but eagerly anticipate the finale, when Montias brings his intersecting storylines together. Apparently, amusingly improbable coincidences can satisfy.

 
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