Successfully Unsubscribed

Please allow up to 10 days for your unsubscription request to be processed.


The Gutter (2024) — Movie Review

AlleyCatz, a neglected bowling alley situated in a nondescript Californian town, offers a less than captivating spectacle to passersby and potential customers. With a lifeless brick exterior reflective of uninspiring suburb shopping centres along with worn-out bowling lanes, shabby equipment, and an untended bar, the establishment is notably uninviting. Many would steer clear of AlleyCatz after just one disappointing glance, but Walt (played by Shameik Moore), the comically hapless star of Yassir and Isaiah Lester's riotous directorial debut 'The Gutter', doesn't have a luxury of choice as he is desperately in need of a job.

This shirt-averse young man, notorious for his long list of job dismissals, amusingly shares his patchy work history with Mozell (Sister Sister’s Jackée Harry), the proprietor of AlleyCatz. Mozell, burdened by her own set of dilemmas as her establishment stands on the brink of collapse, relates to Walt's situation and reluctantly agrees to employ him as a bartender, tasking him to get rid of the pesky cockroaches inhabiting the bowling shoes.

'The Gutter' is a thrills-and-spills comedy making significant waves following its premiere at SXSW. The captivating narrative paints the transformation of Walt from a bartender at AlleyCatz to a sensation in the bowling world, all the while delivering a bold mix of different comedic genres ranging from satire, physical comedy, to sketching. Occasionally, the storyline stumbles, nudging the audience to expect more than the screenplay can feasibly deliver in a limited 89-minute duration. However, the engrossing humor of 'The Gutter' seldom wavers. This movie might face some resistance from mainstream viewers, its plucky, no-holds-barred comedy, in the vein of early Paul Beatty novels, suggests it might become a cult favourite.

The Gutter (2024) — Movie Review

The charismatic Walt encounters a miscellaneous group of characters on his first day on the job. The storyline evolves unexpectedly, confronting him at one point with the shattering news that AlleyCatz is facing imminent shutdown for violating health codes. An impromptu and peculiar plan hatched by pro-bowler champion turned alcoholic Skunk (played by D'Arcy Carden) thus becomes the linchpin of the narrative.

Upon discovering Walt's uncanny bowling skills, Skunk convinces him to bowl competitively and utilize the prize money to aid Mozell in repairing AlleyCatz. The narrative is filled with fun-filled antics, with Walt and Skunk embarking on path filled with bowling competitions and humorous instances. The narrative hits a speed bump towards the end, struggling to tie up the emotional undertones, at which point Walt's winning streak halts suddenly, necessitating a few dramatic shifts within the plot. The engaging universe of 'The Gutter' overshadows its minor narrative setbacks, emphasizing the commendable potential of its makers but also hinting that the movie doesn't manage to knock down all the pins.