Blood, Guts, Bullets and Octane

Bob (Dan Leis) and Sid (Joe Carnahan), the hapless heroes of Blood, Guts, Bullets and Octane, are fast-talking used-car salesmen who at film's opening find themselves an inch away from both the poorhouse and the jailhouse. Moving their clunker wares with one part gift of gab and two parts upbeat deceit, they're introduced impressively enough by a gassy series of hard sells, but having fallen behind the financial eight ball (and clearly buzzing on their own fumes) they make a shady deal to hold a car on their lot in exchange for a quarter of a million dollars. Since no parking space is worth that much, the pair soon find themselves trapped in a grungy netherworld of hit men, drug dealers, and mysterious South American mass murders; their only option is to talk their way back the way they came in.

Writer, director, and star Carnahan comes up with some very funny yacking set pieces but his ear is ultimately much better than his eye, this indie directorial debut looking like an awkward jumble of ill-fitting stand-up skits. Since 90 percent of everything the characters say is a bald-faced lie, Blood, Guts rolls along in a fogged but energetic rush, but after the umpteenth outburst of pointless verbal pyrotechnics it's hard to remember what any of the fuss is about and harder to sit through any more of it.

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