Director Nicholas Kalikow’s heist flick Carter & June makes it look easy to waltz into a high-security bank vault. But not in a good way. When con artist Carter Jennings (Michael Raymond-James) can’t smooth-talk his way out of debts to local gangsters, he conjures up a plan to nab a few Gs, fast. Carter teams up with his on-again, off-again sweetheart and fellow scammer June O’Malley (Samaire Armstrong) in order to swipe bonds and blackmail material from a safe-deposit box before they escape into the hazy New Orleans sunset. There’s only a few obstacles in the way, including Darla Mae Twitty (Lindsay Musil), a trigger-happy, coke-addled evangelical who’s screwing a moneygrubbing reverend on the side. Darla’s simpleminded cop husband also poses a problem for everyone when his rookie instincts land him in hot water.
Kalikow and his co-writers, Rob Warren Thomas and Matt Post, might have imagined these characters as fonts of complexity, but the survivors, casualties, and outcome of the film’s bullet-riddled conclusion are simultaneously convoluted and obvious. Only Timothy Omundson chews the scenery with reasonable panache as Spencer Rabbit, the showy and impatient strip club owner who cares more about fat tips than tits. (And there are plenty of breasts on display in Carter & June.) Ultimately, this wannabe dark comedy swindles viewers out of a thrilling caper.
Carter & June
Directed by Nicholas Kalikow
Freestyle Digital Media
Opens May 18, Cinema Village
Available on demand
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